SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial regulator said Sunday that it will give a grace period for some financial soundness requirements to a new Internet-only bank in order to help it take firm root in the burgeoning market.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC), the country's financial market governing body, will give one or two licenses to launch the country's third Internet-only bank in May.
An Internet-only bank is a bank that offers financial services online without brick-and-mortar branches. Such banking emerged in the 1990s with the advent of online banking technology.
The two existing Internet banks -- Kakao Bank, run by mobile messaging giant Kakao and K bank, operated by telecommunications firm KT -- already were given a three-year waiver period for their financial soundness requirements.
During the grace period, a new Internet bank will be able to compete well against local banking giants and other Internet-only banks, according to the FSC.
The Financial Supervisory Service, the nation's financial watchdog, is slated to accept applications for a new Internet bank this week and grant the right in May to operate the country's third Internet-only bank.
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