SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — The head of South Korea’s top financial regulator pledged Friday to lower entry barriers for foreign banks seeking to tap into the local market.
“To encourage financial companies to tap into other countries, each country must work to increase the conformity of their local rules with international norms,” Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Yim Jong-yong said in a meeting with top officials of foreign banks here.
South Korea, he said, will lower its entry barriers for foreign banks that currently do not have any operations in the country, depending on the area and nature of their business.
This means the commission may approve a new local branch of a foreign bank only based on the fact that the bank is listed in the stock market of another country should there be little or no need to ensure the protection of local consumers, FSC officials said.
Currently, a newcomer must meet at least one of three requirements before launching operations in South Korea. The three requirements deal with company assets, the number of foreign branch offices and credit ratings.
Foreign banks are also required to open up a local headquarters before opening branch offices.
FSC officials said they will soon be allowed to open local branches prior to or even without opening a local headquarters.