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S. Korea sees closure of 3 foreign banks' branches

All News 15:43 June 14, 2017

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- Financial regulators on Wednesday approved plans by three foreign banks to shut down branches in South Korea.

Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland and Spanish lender Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria have been working to exit South Korea, as part of efforts to cut costs amid lower profitability.

Goldman Sachs plans to continue operations in South Korea via its brokerage branch, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said in a statement.

With the three lenders leaving South Korea, the number of foreign banks operating here will be reduced to 40, according to the financial regulator.

Kim Jin-hong, an official at the FSC's banking division, said the closures came as European investment banks have made efforts to scale back costs amid tightened regulations on derivative instruments.

Profitability at South Korea's derivative market fell amid intense competition and low interest rates, Kim said in the statement.

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