Lenders axe jobs despite record profits

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Lenders axe jobs despite record profits

By Jhoo Dong-chan

The number of permanent workers in Korea's big four lenders declined nearly 2,000 this year amid the nation's worsening job market.

According to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), Thursday, the number of permanent workers at the four _ KB Kookmin, Shinhan, KEB Hana and Woori Bank _ was 56,129 as of the end of June, down 1,913 from a year ago.

Permanent workers here include middle managers and bank tellers. Contract workers and executives were excluded from the list.

The number of middle managers was 30,069 as of June, down 979 from a year ago. The number of tellers was 26,994 in June last year, but declined to 26,060.

Of the nation's four commercial banks, Woori Bank downsized its permanent workers by 820 to 13,739 during the period. Woori Bank said the decline is attributed to senior workers who voluntarily retired following the bank's shake-up last year.

Shinhan Bank also reduced the number of its permanent workers by 556 to 12,738 during the period. KEB Hana and KB Kookmin Bank downsized their permanent workers by 352 and 185, respectively.

In the meantime, contract workers have filled the gap created by permanent workers' exit.

The number of contract workers at the banks was 1,340 as of June, up 201 from a year ago.

Of the four, Woori Bank nearly tripled the number of its contract workers to 285 from 97. Shinhan Bank also increased its contract workers by 22 to 563.

KB Kookmin and KEB Hana Bank, however, reduced the number of their contract workers by a small margin.

"The trend is inevitable," a KB Kookmin Bank worker said.

"More customers prefer non-face-to-face service in the wake of the increasing use of online banking systems so banks are shutting down their branches across the country. I believe the trend will continue next year as well."

According to the FSS in a report, Korean banks' earnings surged 34.2 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of the year thanks to a rise in household loans.

The combined net profit of 18 local lenders came to 7.3 trillion won ($6.5 billion) in the January-September period, compared with 5.5 trillion won a year earlier.


By Jhoo Dong-chan

The number of permanent workers in Korea's big four lenders declined nearly 2,000 this year amid the nation's worsening job market.

According to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), Thursday, the number of permanent workers at the four _ KB Kookmin, Shinhan, KEB Hana and Woori Bank _ was 56,129 as of the end of June, down 1,913 from a year ago.

Permanent workers here include middle managers and bank tellers. Contract workers and executives were excluded from the list.

The number of middle managers was 30,069 as of June, down 979 from a year ago. The number of tellers was 26,994 in June last year, but declined to 26,060.

Of the nation's four commercial banks, Woori Bank downsized its permanent workers by 820 to 13,739 during the period. Woori Bank said the decline is attributed to senior workers who voluntarily retired following the bank's shake-up last year.

Shinhan Bank also reduced the number of its permanent workers by 556 to 12,738 during the period. KEB Hana and KB Kookmin Bank downsized their permanent workers by 352 and 185, respectively.

In the meantime, contract workers have filled the gap created by permanent workers' exit.

The number of contract workers at the banks was 1,340 as of June, up 201 from a year ago.

Of the four, Woori Bank nearly tripled the number of its contract workers to 285 from 97. Shinhan Bank also increased its contract workers by 22 to 563.

KB Kookmin and KEB Hana Bank, however, reduced the number of their contract workers by a small margin.

"The trend is inevitable," a KB Kookmin Bank worker said.

"More customers prefer non-face-to-face service in the wake of the increasing use of online banking systems so banks are shutting down their branches across the country. I believe the trend will continue next year as well."

According to the FSS in a report, Korean banks' earnings surged 34.2 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of the year thanks to a rise in household loans.

The combined net profit of 18 local lenders came to 7.3 trillion won ($6.5 billion) in the January-September period, compared with 5.5 trillion won a year earlier.


Jhoo Dong-chan jhoo@koreatimes.co.kr
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