Eight foreign investment companies have shut down their subsidiaries or downsized their business in South Korea in the past four years.
As foreign investment companies continue to withdraw from the Korean market or reduce business, experts point out that the financial authorities need to review their plans to make Korea a financial hub.
According to Rep. Choi Woon-yeol of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, who is on the National Assembly's National Policy Committee, Franklin Templeton Investments downsized its business in the local subsidiary this year, following the shutdown of the South Korean subsidiary of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Advisor in 2015.
A total of eight foreign investment firms, including Newedge Financial, BOS Securities, Barclays Securities, Asset One Management, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Fidelity International, have abandoned or reduced business in South Korea.
Five foreign banks, including Goldman Sachs Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Barclays Bank and UBS Bank, have also closed down or downsized their Seoul branches.
In addition, South Korea has rapidly fallen in the latest Global Financial Center Index (GFCI) ranking released by U.K.-based Z/Yen Group. Seoul ranked sixth in 2015 but fell to 33rd this year, while Busan dropped from 24th to 44th.