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Brokerages shedding jobs amid growing popularity of mobile trading

All Headlines 11:10 January 09, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- The number of jobs at South Korea's securities firms has markedly declined in recent years amid the growing popularity of mobile stock trading, data showed Monday.

Brisk M&As are another culprit in the reduction of jobs in the industry.

The number of employees at local brokerage firms stood at 35,920 as of end-September in 2016, down 5,302 or 13 percent, from 41,222 recorded three years earlier, according to the Korea Financial Investment Association. The figure peaked at 44,060 at the end of 2011.

"As stock trade shifts to online (tools) such as the home trading system (HTS) and mobile trading system (MTS), it's a reality that securities companies are consolidating or closing branches for offline customers and scaling down the workforce," an industry official said.

In particular, the ratio of stock investors using smartphones topped 30 percent in 2016.

An image of job cuts at South Korean securities firms in a file photo provided by Yonhap News TV. (Yonhap)

M&As among local brokerage firms have been on the rise as well, affected by the government's campaign to foster mega-sized investment banks (IBs) with global competitiveness.

With the merger of KB Investment & Securities and Hyundai Securities, more than 200 jobs will be cut. Hundreds of jobs were also lost in the merger of NH Securities and Woori Investment & Securities in 2014. Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities Co., launched in December last year, may be bracing for massive job cuts.

The number of sales branches at home by local brokerage firms dropped 25 percent to 1,179 as of end-September in 2016 from three years earlier.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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