The Strategist

South Korea opens banking sector to new entrants for the first time in 30 years

07/06/2023 - 08:35

The Financial Services Commission stated that the choice was made to foster more competition in the sector.

Choi Kwang-mo
Choi Kwang-mo
South Korea has chosen to open up its banking market to new players for the first time in 30 years in order to boost industry competitiveness, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced.

"By allowing additional competitors to enter the industry, we will encourage competition. National expansion for regional banks will be permitted. There might be a brand-new national bank for the first time in 30 years."
“We will provide new banking licenses to applicants who have enough funds and a strong business plan. If there is a need and viable business development strategies,” the authorities said. The watchdog promised to actively promote new participants to enter the market, including Internet banks and other forms of specialized banks.

The primary goal of the measures, as emphasized by FSC chief Kim Joo-hyun, is "to promote fair and effective competition in the banking sector." The commission has been working on them for the past four months with the help of outside specialists and representatives from the financial industry.