SEOUL, Aug. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Banks in South Korea have offered hefty bonuses to their executives on the back of the profits they chalked up by steadily raising interest rates over the past three years, a lawmaker said Wednesday.
The aggregate value of bonuses given to the executives at the nation’s top four commercial banks during the period from 2020 to May 2022 totaled 108.3 billion won (US$82.8 million), according to the data that Rep. Kim Jong-min of the main opposition Democratic Party received from the Financial Supervisory Service.
During this period, the number of bank executives who received performance bonuses totaled 1,047.
An executive at KB Kookmin Bank received a performance bonus of 1.2 billion won in 2020 alone.
During this period, commercial banks have steadily pushed up interest rates on new loans.
The Bank of Korea’s benchmark interest rate started inching upwards in August last year after slipping to a low of 0.50 percent in May 2020.
Commercial banks, however, continuously raised their interest rates in a way that reflected the benchmark rate in advance.
“It’s regretful that commercial banks enjoyed a bonus festival even in a situation where ordinary citizens suffer difficulties due to the hike in interest rates,” Kim said.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)