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Moon meets top bankers, seeks help with financial aid package over coronavirus damage

All News 15:16 April 06, 2020

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in asked South Korea's major banks Monday to be aggressive in efforts to help the country's businesses hit by the coronavirus, saying the government would be lenient with unintended, minor mistakes in the emergency aid process.

Speaking at his unprecedented group meeting with the heads of leading commercial banks and policy leaders here, the president emphasized the importance of the "role of finance" in riding out the burgeoning crisis.

He likened financing with medical workers in anti-virus quarantine.

"Just as the dedication of medical workers save patients, aggressive financing can rescue companies, small business owners and the self-employed," he said during the session held at the Korea Federation of Banks headquarters in central Seoul.

He added protecting firms is the way to insulate jobs and people's livelihoods.

President Moon Jae-in speaks at a meeting with heads of South Korea's major banks at the Korea Federation of Banks headquarters in Seoul on April 6, 2020. (Yonhap)

Moon thanked the financial institutions for having cooperated with his administration's push for an emergency aid package, worth 100 trillion won (US$81 billion), for the local business sector against the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief program was announced last month at emergency economic council meetings presided over by Moon.

He said it's important to turn the scheme into action in a timely and appropriate manner and requested their support.

There may be "unintended negligence in the process of providing (relevant) funds," he added. "Without any particular intentionality, the government won't hold (financial institutions) responsible. I clearly promise this."

He called off his weekly meeting with senior Cheong Wa Dae aides for the roundtable session with the chief executives of the country's five main banks -- Shinhan, KB Kookmin, Woori, KEB Hana and NH Nonghyup.

Also attending it were the chiefs of the Korea Development Bank, Export-Import Bank, the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and the Korea Technology Finance Corp.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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