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Rising as a Financial Star
Ranked No.1 in customer satisfaction and received the highest credit ratings among Korea’s banks
Rising as a Financial Star
  • By matthew
  • October 15, 2009, 16:28
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Kookmin Bank is the largest bank in Korea with an asset base of 280 trillion won (US$231.6 billion) at the end of June. More than half of the country’s citizens, 26 million people, are customers. With a strong distribution network, including 1,194 branches, Kookmin Bank has a web-like network that spreads across the whole of Korea.

Kookmin Bank became the first Korean financial firm to reach 2 trillion won in annual profits in 2005, with the financial powerhouse earning at least the same in each of the three years since then. It has become the best-performing bank in Korea in terms of profit and fiscal soundness, which is particularly impressive given the economic downturn that set in last year.

Kookmin Bank also boasts unparalleled financial soundness, including the industry’s highest capital adequacy ratio, thanks to a preemptive risk management approach. A key measure of financial soundness in the banking industry - Kookmin continues to maintain a BIS ratio of 13.65 percent and a Tier I ratio of 10.44 percent, among the best in the industry.

In May of this year, KB was the first bank in Asia to issue covered bonds - public bonds issued by commercial banks without guarantees from the government - since the fourth quarter of last year. This highlights a new alternative to attracting long-term overseas assets, a primary goal of local banks. By exploring this new method, KB now has diversified ways of attracting foreign investment.

In June, the bank issued fixed-interest bonds worth $300 million which expire in three years and are without government guarantees. Kookmin Bank was able to successfully issue the bonds as the market stabilized and investor demand increased. The issuance was the first case in which a commercial bank issued a Yankees bond in the Asia Pacific region since Lehman Brothers collapsed. This helped Kookmin cement its status as a global bank and a leader in the Asian financial market.

Kookmin Bank is using the financial crisis to reinforce its goals and priorities. Korea’s largest bank and the first to be ranked No.1 in customer satisfaction for three consecutive years, Kookmin Bank will initiate its “New Start” management strategy in 2009 through profit-centered cost management, strengthened risk management, customer-focused sales activities, and accelerated synergy creation.

To strengthen marketing capabilities, Kookmin Bank introduced the industry’s first GIS-based Geographic-CRM (G-CRM) system at all its branches. The system enables the bank to devise region-oriented marketing strategies by combining and analyzing existing internal customer information and external information such as geographical features.

At the same time, Kookmin Bank has chosen green development as a continuous growth and development paradigm for the company. This year, the bank launched a green finance management promotion organization and is centralizing some environment-related tasks that were previously scattered across different departments.

To realize the Koookmin Bank vision, it is broadening its overseas presence by expanding the “KB Triangle Network” linking operations in China, South Asia and the CIS, including the opening of a new branch in Harbin, China. The bank is also forging new business alliances with foreign partners, including Japan’s SMBC, Spain’s BBVA, and the Netherlands’ ING.

Kookmin Bank is working hard to provide the best products and services in the industry and tailor its services to clients. It strives to become a partner to its clients, helping them achieve success and better their lives.

Kookmin Bank emphasizes youth development in its social contribution activities. In 2008, the group received its third consecutive Grand Prize in the Youth Welfare category at the Social Contribution Corporate Awards, as well as earning top honors at the Mecenat Awards.