The nation's top financial regulator said yesterday that Korea needs a big bang in the financial industry so that Korean can become an advanced economy.
"Currently, the competitiveness of Korea's manufacturing industry is one of the world's best. But the financial industry is not there yet," Yoon Jeung-hyun, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, said in a keynote speech at a forum in Seoul.
"All the developed countries with per capita income of more than $30,000 have advanced financial industries," said Yoon, who also serves as chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission.
Yoon said the free trade agreement between Korea and the United States will provide the much-needed momentum for the Korean financial industry to take a leap. An FTA with the United States is currently under negotiation after Washington sought revision of the agreement reached in April between the two countries.
He also expressed hope that the Capital Markets Consolidation Act, now pending in the National Assembly, will further accelerate the upgrade of the financial services sector.
Calling the government-pushed act "revolutionary," Yoon said it will intensify competition among local financial institutions and eventually contribute to the development of investment banking and asset management industries, essential to the building of a financial hub in the country.
The proposed law is expected to bring major changes to the Korean financial services sector, as it intends to break down the walls between banking, securities, and insurance service providers.
By Lee Sun-young