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Tightened acquisition rules eyed for savings banks

All News 16:11 April 19, 2017

SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial watchdog on Wednesday unveiled a set of new regulations on the acquisition of a savings bank by a consumer credit service company in a bid to improve transparency.

Under the new rules, a consumer credit service firm is required to present a plan to shut down its retail lending business if it applies to acquire a savings bank in South Korea, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

The new rules also ban a major shareholder from owning a majority stake in more than three savings banks.

The rules were aimed at increasing transparency in the savings banks sector, the FSS said in a statement.

In line with the new rules, Apro Financial Co., a Japanese-funded consumer credit service firm in South Korea and a major shareholder of OK Savings Bank, plans to close its consumer lending businesses by 2024.

The FSS will strengthen its screening process for potential buyers of a savings bank, prohibiting an unqualified bidder from acquiring a savings bank via a private equity fund or a specific purpose company.

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