Shinhan Bank Puts Employees First in New Strategy
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Shinhan Bank Puts Employees First in New Strategy
CEO Wi stresses the importance of personnel in boosting the bank’s net profit in his call for improved 2nd half management strategy

25(Fri), Aug, 2017

President Wi Sung-ho of Shinhan Bank.

President Wi Sung-ho of Shinhan Bank chose “Clerk’s Capacity” as the keywords for his management plan in the second half, concluding that it is people that make organizations. It’s a signal that open screening for candidates will be used to fill key posts in the bank.

President Wi made the statement at a strategy meeting for the bank’s operation held recently, in which “clerk’s capacity” was mentioned a number of times to show that the words represent the core of his management strategy in the second half.

The bank’s strategy has attracted keen attention from within the banking community, as it differs sharply from rival banks. Citibank, for example, is reducing the number of branches while others focus on digitalization and mobile strategy to improve their bottom lines.

A total of 1,000 top executives, and mid-level officials of the bank assembled at the Shinhan Bank Training Institute in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, to discuss the management strategy for the second half of the year.

Both Shinhan Financial Group and Shinhan Bank are aiming to be leaders in Asia, up and above being the top financial institutions at home as the management strategy for the year.

CEO Wi told the meeting that they need a different set of strategies from those taken up in the past to meet the targets. He stressed the importance of strengthening the work capacities of employees and “autonomous operation.” He talked about boosting professionalism among employees after choosing the jobs they want. He also switched the system for the assignment of the positions of employees to an open one to select the persons most qualified.

Overseas assignments are also among the employees listed in the pool as ordered by the CEO. Wi said the personnel moves were also based on the “open personnel” and “reserve manpower” systems.

He also took note of the rapid changes in the traditional bank’s roles, quoting Microsoft founder Bill Gates who said, “banking is necessary, but banks are not, to mean that bank can be the main players in the changes that are being made if they pursue fresh ideas not settling on the current frames of work.”

Shinhan Bank doesn’t think Wi means to do away with digitalization, as he only wanted to stress that it’s the people who will ultimately play a key role in boosting the bank’s profits. President Lee Kwang-goo of Woori Bank gave credit to the bank’s executives and staff for the bank’s profit exceeding 1 trillion won in the first half, letting them know that securing top-flight customers is a priority in the management strategy. 

According to industry sources on June 13, Korea’s largest commercial bank early this month appointed former Professor Kim Chul-ki of the Korea Banking Institute as its director of the Big Data Center. 

Kim, a specialist in big data, has over 15 years of experience at Wall Street banks, having worked in Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. In April, global consulting firm Bain & Company’s former head of financial services Cho Young-seo also joined Shinhan Financial Group as the director of the Digital Strategy team. 

Shinhan’s recruitment of fintech experts stoked speculation that it may be gearing up to become Korea’s third online bank, following K Bank and Kakao Bank, which are currently the country’s only two online banks without a brick-and-mortar presence. 

There have been news reports that financial authorities are considering another go-ahead for additional internet banks, as the country’s first internet-only bank has enjoyed early success since its launch in April. “All options are on the table,” an unnamed officer from Shinhan Bank said.

Naver is said to be Shinhan’s most likely partner, as the two companies already have extensive partnership in Japan’s financial market. 

A view of the building in downtown Seoul where Shinhan Bank head office is located.(Photos: Shinhan Bank)

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