SEOUL, May 22 (Korea Bizwire) — As local banks suffer from reduced net interest margins, they are looking to reduce operational costs to overcome their difficulties.
An official at the bank said, “In the past, we made color copies of business reports to executives, but now we use KakaoTalk.”
In addition, the bank encourages its workers to turn off the lights during lunch time, to turn off electronics and to use both sides of paper.
Shinhan Bank, the largest commercial bank in Korea, is also tightening its belt. It is collecting ideas to reduce expenses among its workers for the first time since its foundation. “The success of cost reduction is in the hands of our workers. We are trying our best to reduce costs,” a Shinhan Bank official said.
Hana Bank and Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) are preparing for their integration, and are disposing of unnecessary or rarely used computer systems as an effort to reduce costs.
In addition, banks are reducing costs by integrating branches and ATM machines. The number of branches run by the six largest commercial banks (including Kookmin, Shinhan, Hana, KEB, Woori and NH) fell by 61 in just a year, from 5,212 in April 2014 to 5,151 in April 2015. During the same period, the number of ATMs fell by 963 from 37,288 to 36,325.
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)