The bank will prop up its overseas operations, strengthening 17 branches and 2 rep offices in key cities like New York, London, and Tokyo
President Cho Joon-hee of the
Industrial Bank of Korea.
“Khis year will be one of the toughest years with both crisis and opportunity co-existing in the financial market. We have to check the profit models of each sector of our operations and seek new profit sources to maintain the bank’ s steady growth,” said President Cho Joon-hee of the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) in explaining the bank’ s operating plans for this year.
In a nutshell, the CEO said the bank should seek new growth engines to prop up its profit level in order to ensure its continued steady growth in the years ahead.
The bank, however, increased its loans to SMEs this year, despite the difficult times ahead for its operations due to the sluggish economic conditions.
What CEO Cho wants in the development of the bank’ s new financial products are products and services good enough to make customers stand in long lines to get them. IBK’ s individual clients exceeded 10 million in May 2011 and they have increased by 1 million annually since then due to its marketing efforts.
In particular, the ad with TV personality Song Hae showing that IBK is also a bank for individuals has paid off well. This year the bank will show its ads for a “truly good friend card” to attract new customers.
IBK is known for its diverse programs to help its customers and the bank has been building facilities and services so that its customers can experience a variety of banking deals on the internet and smart phones, as well as subscriptions for financial goods, asset management, on-screen meetings, and others.
The bank is intent on building a system under the “Visiting Smart Finance” program, which invites all people to deal with IBK all around the country.
IBK looks forward to expanding its financial assistance to SMEs more than last year, and is not concerned with the various obstacles facing the banking industry such as low-interest rates and low economic growth. The bank will help those SMEs struggling with shortages in liquidity by providing them with extra loans for their operation funds and for facility construction as a leading bank for shared growth between large and small firms by developing financial products and services to expand their relationships.
IBK will also do its role to create jobs in the country by providing financial help to start-ups and venture firms. The bank will continue to search overseas to prop up its profit level by taking full advantage of its overseas units in such key cities as New York, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, totaling 17 branches and two rep offices. This year, the bank will further expand its overseas financial network linking five oceans and six continents.
The bank will open a branch in Beijing and one or two branches in Suchow, China, rep offices in Hanoi, Vietnam and New Delhi, India, and upgrade its rep office in Myanmar.
IBK has suspended the penalty interest rate system this year for the first time in the history of the domestic banking industry, the bank said on Dec. 28.
IBK said its maximum interest rate on SME loans will be reduced to 9.5 percent from 10.5 percent per year from Jan. 1 and the maximum housing loan interest rate will also be cut from 13 percent per year to 9.5 percent per year from Jan. 1.
President Cho Joon-hee promised to cut interest rates on both SME and housing loans when he took office two years ago and his promises have now been realized, the bank said.
Penalty interest rates on delayed interest payments were also cut to 11 percent per year from 12 percent to 13 percent per year as of Jan. 1.
The move will benefit those who have been paying higher interest rates due to their poor credit standings, especially the poor, who account for some 37,000 SMEs and 42,600 individual loans.
Popular singer and actor Song Hae, center, talks with an
official of the Industrial Bank of Korea as a model for
successful ads for the IBK.