Watchdog to continue legal battle with Woori chair

18-Sep-2021 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 5:01 PM Print This Post

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has decided to appeal the Seoul Administrative Court’s August 27 ruling ordering the watchdog to revoke the heavy sanctions it had placed last year on Woori Financial Group Chair Son Tae-seung.

“We discussed this matter thoroughly with the Financial Services Commission (FSC),” FSS Public Affairs Department director general Jason Park said during an online press conference, Friday. “We made the decision considering the fact that we need to request an additional court ruling and that similar litigation involving Hana Bank is underway.”

Woori said that it respects the watchdog’s latest decision.

Financial Supervisory Service Governor Jeong Eun-bo, left, and Woori Financial Group Chairman Son Tae-seung / Yonhap

Financial Supervisory Service Governor Jeong Eun-bo, left, and Woori Financial Group Chairman Son Tae-seung / Yonhap

“Regardless of the appeal, we will comply sincerely with the financial supervisory authorities’ policies, and will do our best to protect financial consumers,” the company said in a statement.

The FSS’s announcement came out two weeks after it received a written judgment from the court that ruled in favour of Son, in a lawsuit he had filed to ask the court to order the watchdog to revoke its “reprimand warning” on him, regarding his part in Woori Bank’s mis-selling of derivative-linked funds (DLFs), which led to massive losses of its customers’ investments.

Any financial leaders who receive a reprimand warning are not allowed to extend their terms, nor can they work at other financial institutions for three years. However, Son has been able to continue leading the group because the court granted an injunction against the sanction last year.

Speculations had once been raised that the FSS might abandon its legal battle with the Woori chief, as it did not lodge an appeal immediately after the court ruling.

Its recent decision is mainly attributed to pressure from the liberal ruling Democratic Party of Korea.

Rep. Lee Yong-woo and 11 other ruling party lawmakers held a press conference Tuesday to urge the institution to immediately appeal the ruling in favour of Woori’s chair, saying that the judgment was “unacceptable.”

“If the FSS abandons the appeal, it will have to revoke the sanctions it handed down to former Hana Bank CEO Ham Young-joo,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

Ham, who is serving as the Hana Financial Group vice chairperson, also asked the court to order the watchdog to revoke the heavy sanctions it had issued to him for his responsibility in Hana Bank’s mis-selling of DLFs. The ruling on this case is expected to be made in January of next year at the earliest.

Six progressive civic groups also issued a statement earlier this month to call for the FSS to appeal the August 27 ruling so as to protect financial consumers. Financial lobby groups, on the other hand, have been urging the financial authorities to allow companies to deal with disciplinary matters internally.

https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/biz/2021/09/367_315712.html

 

Category: Korea

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