Gov. Choe Heung-sik of the Financial Supervisory Service.(FSS)(Photo: FSS)
Gov. Choe Heung-sik of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) stressed at his inaugural ceremony on Sept. 11 that the Financial Supervisory Service will perform its services centered on consumers.
The FSS will dedicate itself to the protection of financial consumers from now on, changing from keeping financial institutions sound and healthy.
The new FSS governor also revealed that he will have the FSS reform its public notice system so that investors will be able to tell identify enterprises by themselves. He will have the banks and other financial institutions to post their corporate social responsibility(CSR) including their support to raising the child birth rates, environmental protection, and smooth labor-management relations, among others, so that the public and the market would know. What he meant was that he will introduce the similar practices operated in EU countries. EU has decided to require the business firms to post their non-financial results in their operations from next year.
He blamed banks and other financial institutions for neglecting their given roles, working only on improving profits and competition to scales up their operations.
The EU will require business firms with 500 or more employees, whether they’re listed or not, to post their CRS records in such areas as environment, society, CSR related to employees, anti-corruption, and bribery, among others.
FSS officials said they are in the middle of changing the public notice of the business firms to record their CSR activities in their annual business reports in such areas as labor relations, environmental protection, contribution to low-birth rates, flexible office working system and a home double-support system. On labor relations, they will be required to make reports on union activities including strikes and other illegal union activities if included among the CSR activities that should be reported.
The new FSS governor also wants to change the official function and role of the FSS, which would include setting up a consumer protection committee directly under the FSS governor’s office to show that consumer protection is the key part of the financial supervisory institution’s main activity, which is in line with President Moon’s election campaign pledges.
The committee will determine if a new supervisory regulation is being studied for addition to the existing supervisory regulations, the committee will examine if they favor consumer protection by its members slated to include those from civilian groups, academics, and journalism, among others, who will make up half of the committee members.
Choe also called on FSS officials and staff to adhere to the principles and basics in performing their duties, not bully the financial institutions. He said the FSS should perform a supervisory role until the financial policies and supervisory functions are separated when the government reorganization is completed early next year.
A professor-turned-businessman was appointed as the head of the Financial Supervisory Service on Sept. 7, a decision that breaks the tradition of tapping veteran bureaucrats for the top post.
Choe, head of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and former president of Hana Financial Group, has become the leader of the country’s financial watchdog with President Moon Jae-in approving the recommendation from the FSS.
This is the first time that a figure from the private sector has been named to head the FSS. The chairman of the FSC recommended the head of the FSS to the president, though the appointment is typically in line with the president’s policy directions. Still, the nominee need not pass a confirmation hearing.
The FSC cited Choe’s balanced experience in academia and the finance industry as the reason for the decision.
“The new chairman has great expertise in research and business experience after serving in major positions in the finance field including as the head of the Korea Institute of Finance, a professor at Yonsei University and president of Hana Financial Group,” the FSC said in a statement.
Choe replaced Zhin Woong-seob who resigned on Sept. 7 after two years and nine months at the regulatory agency.
The labor union of the FSS, however, immediately denounced the appointment.
Born in 1952, Choe received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Yonsei University with a major in business. He earned a doctorate in Business Administration from Universite de Lille I and Paris University Dauphine in France.