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Regulator expands 'communication' with foreign financial firms

All News 15:24 September 06, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial regulatory body said Tuesday it has decided to hold a regular meeting with "all foreign financial companies" in a bid to help resolve their troubles in doing business here.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) has held a quarterly meeting with the representatives of foreign firms since March 2014 to collect their opinions on ways to improve the business conditions of Asia's fourth-largest economy. It involved only those from companies based in countries related to the South Korea-U.S. or South Korea-Europe free trade agreements as well as their embassies in Seoul.

"We have decided to expand the communication channel for constant discussions on tasks to improve business circumstances to meet global standards for foreign financial services firms," the FSC said in a statement.

In fact, it invited the senior officials from all foreign financial companies operating in South Korea, along with embassy staff, to the latest session held on Tuesday.

Two dozen firms, including those from China, Japan, Singapore and Australia, as well as several embassies and foreign business lobby groups attended the meeting presided over by Kim Hak-kyun, a standing member of the FSC.

It was a follow-up to the FSC's meeting with the CEOs of foreign financial companies in July that was hosted by the FSC's vice chairman Jeong Eun-bo.

Jeong Eun-bo (5th from right in front row), vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission, meets with the CEOs of foreign firms operating in South Korea in this file photo dated on July 20, 2016. (Yonhap)

South Korea's authorities are on alert over a growing number of foreign firms closing or scaling down their financial operations in the country.

Apparently among the reasons for a shift in management strategy at their headquarters are a worsened profitability outlook, toughened global financial rules and some regulatory hurdles here.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, FSC Chairman Yim Jong-yong pledged every possible effort to upgrade South Korea's financial system and make it more convenient for foreign financial firms to do business here.

"We will actively address regulations that do not meet global standards," he said. "A comprehensive plan will be drawn up in December" based on the results of the meetings with foreign companies.


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