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Chairman-nominee Suggested Major Overhaul of Woori Financial Group
Woori Financial Group
Chairman-nominee Suggested Major Overhaul of Woori Financial Group
  • By matthew
  • March 5, 2013, 14:33
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Shin Je-yun, who has been nominated as the chairman of the Financial Services Commission, suggested that a complete overhaul is necessary for the Woori Financial Group after a series of failed attempts at its disposal. “The Woori Financial Group has been an unattended company since the injection of public funds, the sales capacity being on the decline and the employees turning to outsiders for personnel matters, and we can’t sit back and watch the situation any longer,” he said.

Under the circumstances, close attention is being paid to whether and how the corporate governance structure will be changed down the road. The nominee also expressed his will in a roundabout way to filter out some of the non-executive directors engaged in influence peddling, quoting the proverb of “When the cat is away, the mice will play.”

He had an interview with the Seoul Economic Times for over an hour from 11:15 pm on March 2, after his nomination, in his own house and said what he has in mind concerning future policy directions. He remarked first of all, “These days, Woori is where the largest number of requests for special favors are made and I think that at least the moral part should be corrected if the company remains unattended for the time being.” The nominee continued, “With the privatization of the company remaining in stalemate, the organization is going political and this is what I’m worried about the most.”

With regard to the way of disposing of the financial group, he stressed that he would not allow the disposal by means of the government-issued stock preferred by the political community. “Finance is what experts do and something like a people’s share program will only result in the people spending their time watching the movement of the price of their stocks instead of doing their jobs,” he remarked, adding, “We’ve already seen the failure of POSCO and KEPCO, both of which have become de facto foreign companies.”

He also mentioned the problem of the financial industry driven by political motivations. “When the industry is not in good hands, politicians take advantage and then the mice come to play,” he said to criticize some of the politicians trying to intervene in the industry and financial industry figures that are taking advantage of them to get promoted.

Meanwhile, he advocated the country’s policy finance institutions. “There are some people saying that policy finance has some problems, but it is well taken care of by a few charismatic figures and it has no problem at all on the moral part, either,” said the nominee.

In the meantime, at the press conference right after his nomination in the afternoon of that day, he announced that he would not mull over raising the loan-to-value (LTV) and debt-to-income (DTV) ratios for a while. Still, he implied the necessity of some housing market measures by saying, “We need the revitalization of the real estate market as much as the soundness of financial companies matters and the two, in fact, are things closely connected to each other.”