Hur Yin, president-designate of KB Kookmin Bank, said customers will be at the center of the bank’s operation when he takes over the top management of the bank.
Shareholders are slated to approve his nomination at a meeting on Oct. 16.
During a brief meeting with media while he was on his way to work at the head office in Yeouido, Seoul, he said customers are the most important element for the bank. “We have to be loyal to our customers,” he emphasized.
KB Financial Group nominated the former vice president of KB Kookmin Bank as the new chief executive of the bank on Oct. 11, a move that will put an end to a management structure where the chairman of the group doubled as head of the bank.
Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo of KB Financial Group is poised to win a second term as the chairman of Korea’s largest financial holding company by asset size as he is the sole candidate for the position.
Both Yoon and Hur will begin their terms on Nov. 21. With a strong background of putting customers first, Hur is expected to kick off a drive with a strong emphasis on improved customer service.
He also is expected to go easy on the union as he tries to solve any of the problems through dialogue. The union opposed Hur’s nomination, noting that he did not do will in the most recent opinion polls among the bank’s employees.
The president-designate saw no problems in his dealings with Chairman Yoon, pledging that he will do his best to support him and his policies, sharing his management philosophies as best he can.
Hur will be the first independent head of the bank in three years.
Before chairman Yoon, the CEO of the bank was separate from the head of the Group. But in 2014, an internal rift took place between the management of the group and the bank, which eventually forced the group chairman and the bank CEO to step down from their posts.
Since the dispute, Yoon, who was appointed as the new chairman of the group immediately following the incident, has been overseeing the bank as well.
A selection committee reportedly decided on Sept. 26, when the final interview for chairman Yoon took place, to separate the leadership of the group and the bank.
Some analysts say that the nomination of Yoon for a second term was a clear indication that the board of directors decided that the management structure of the group has stabilized since the dispute three years ago.
“The reappointment of Yoon will help solidify the "promotion-from-within’ system [of the group], ensuring management continuity and stability,” said Choi Chung-uk, an analyst from Daishin Securities.
Another industry insider explained that the mergers and acquisitions of non-banking companies by the group, such as the acquisition of Hyundai Securities to establish KB Securities, has given Yoon too much to do, making it difficult to oversee the group and the bank at the same time.
The nomination of Hur is seen as an attempt to relieve the chairman of the burden. “I will lead the bank in line with the [management] principles of Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo,” Hur told reporters on Oct.12 when asked how he will work with the chairman of the group.