NH Financial Group has decided to push the digital finance as its growth engine for this year to focus on the development of the Fintech-related financial products. Chairman Kim Yong-hwan, who has been retained to serve another term, will lead the group to set up a strategy for Fintech finance systematic development to expand the non-face channel capacity by using Fintech and Big Data for its affiliates, especially for NH Bank. NH Bank, the major affiliate of NH Financial Group, attracted the attention of the financial market last year by introducing “All One Bank” and this year, the bank has been trying to strengthen the service function of All One Bank in cooperation with its affiliates operating in diverse areas of the financial industry.
The financial group is set to introduce an integrated account service so that the customers can have an access to the financial information available from all of the group’s affiliates. The chairman also plans to have the group to introduce the A Market Connect to provide its customers to make simple payments in such places as the Hanaro Mart, the service connecting the financial and agricultural sectors that NH Financial can only provide to its customers.
The group will also provide segregated services by the customers in various financial needs. Those in their 20s and 30s will get information on jobs and travel including the names of the restaurants, foods available, games, webtune and others.
In the second half, the group will launch the All One Bank Vietnam to go global with Fintech products, which will include the products that connect the customers with public organizations. The customers will also use the smartphones to get the tax payment notices and pay it with the smartphones. The group will make the arrangement with the Gyeonggi Province first and then make the deals with other provinces.
NongHyup Financial Group Chairman Kim Yong-hwan said that the group will reach Asian markets by cooperating with regional players, seeking to find new revenue sources outside the country.
Kim said that the country's second-largest financial group by assets is exploring business opportunities in China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and Cambodia, considering buying stakes in local financial firms and setting up joint ventures with them. "Globalization is our new strategy. The local market is being saturated quickly, forcing us to reach out overseas," said Kim in a press conference at the Bankers' Club in downtown Seoul, celebrating the first anniversary of his inauguration as chairman.
"We are more interested in stake investments, joint ventures or project financing rather than establishing branches or liaison offices." His announcement came as the domestic financial market loses its attractiveness hit by low interest rates and sluggish economic growth. Net interest margin, a barometer of a bank's profitability, is also dropping sharply, burdening the group's performance. The bureaucrat-turned-banker said that the group set up a support center in Hong Kong which helps its business in Asia. NongHyup is in talks with a Chinese financial group to establish a joint banking arm in the country.
He also said that he will cooperate with state-run agencies, such as the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank), in reaching overseas markets by helping their activities in rural areas.
Regarding its domestic business, he admitted that the group suffers from heavy exposure to troubled shipbuilders and shippers, but vowed to deal with bad loans by making provisions. "We know that we are going through a tough time. In particular, we are exposed to companies in weak industries, such as shipbuilding, shipping and steelmaking," he said.
Kim mentioned "big bath," an accounting technique of reporting excessive liabilities at the outset to boost future profitability, showing his will to face problems.