Eximbank move could pressure KB, IBK to appoint union-backed directors

Eximbank move could pressure KB, IBK to appoint union-backed directors

The Export-Import Bank of Korea headquarters in Seoul / Yonhap

Private sector still facing obstacles to codetermination system

By Park Jae-hyuk

Attention has been focused on whether KB Kookmin Bank and the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) will follow the example set by the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank), which became the country’s first financial company and state-run institution to give a board seat to an expert recommended by its union.

According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki appointed Maritime Finance Institute CEO Lee Jae-min and lawyer Yun Tae-ho of the law firm Bae, Kim & Lee, as Eximbank’s new nonexecutive directors last Friday.

The person backed by the union is Lee, who previously worked for the state-run bank.

After his retirement in 2011, he served as a professor at Korea Maritime & Ocean University. The Eximbank union recommended him for his expertise in maritime financing and reputation for strong communication with employees.

After former Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance auditor Na Meong-heon exited the board in May, the union requested appointing an additional outside director to improve governance structure, which was accepted by the government and the bank’s management.

In 2020, the Eximbank union failed in its attempt to introduce a codetermination system, referring to a system in which seats on a board of directors are given to employees or their representatives.

President Moon Jae-in originally promised to allow public institution workers to directly join their companies’ boards, but doing so will require a revision of the law. So unionized workers at state-run financial firms have urged the government to give board seats to union-backed outside experts.

Although the government has remained lukewarm over this matter over the past four years, the Eximbank union accomplished its goal, just a few months before the end of Moon’s five-year term.

Eximbank move could pressure KB, IBK to appoint union-backed directors

Industrial Bank of Korea headquarters in Seoul / Yonhap

The Eximbank union’s achievement has encouraged the IBK union, which has made similar attempts in 2019 and earlier this year. The state-run bank’s unionized workers expect an expert recommended by them to be appointed as a nonexecutive director next March.

“IBK CEO Yoon Jong-won and former Financial Service Commission (FSC) Chairman Eun Sung-soo agreed to the appointment of a union-backed outside director,” an IBK union representative said. According to the IBK Act, the FSC chairman has the right to appoint its nonexecutive directors, following requests from the bank’s CEO.

The labor-friendly attitude in state-run banks is unnerving the management of private-sector banks, because it may lead the government to pressure them to give management rights to their workers.

“Commercial banks will face pressure to follow the example of state-run banks,” a commercial bank official said on condition of anonymity.

However, it is still unclear whether private financial firms will offer their board seats to union-backed experts, given that their shareholders have the right to make the final decision on the appointment of outside directors.

In particular, the employee stock ownership association of KB Kookmin Bank did not recommend a candidate for an outside director during the general shareholders meeting earlier this year, despite the union’s continuous efforts to introduce a codetermination system.

The decision came last December after vice branch manager Moon Hoon-joo defeated union leader Ryu Je-gang in the election for the association’s leader. Before the election, the union leader led the association, so the association represented the union during shareholders meetings.

Moon said he would prioritize improving shareholder value, rather than making efforts to obtain a board seat from management. In contrast, the KB union plans to raise awareness about the necessity of a union-backed director, before the expiration of a foreign nonexecutive director’s term next year.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

S. Korea aims to swiftly reopen talks with N. Korea: NSC

South Korea’s National Security Director Suh Hoon (L) poses for a photo with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during their meeting in Washington on Oct. 12, 2021, in this ... Read more »

New head of military intelligence body named

his photo released by the Ministry of National Defense on Oct. 14, 2021, shows Maj. Gen Lee Sang-chul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) Maj. Gen Lee Sang-chul, commander of the ... Read more »

KOCCA to hold online creative writing conference to explore K-content

“2021 The Story Concert,” organized by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), will be held online on Oct. 21. Courtesy of KOCCA By Lee Gyu-lee The Korea Creative Content Agency ... Read more »

Jun Ji-hyun and Ju Ji-hoon offer glimpse of new mystery series 'Jirisan'

Actors Jun Ji-hyun, left, and Ju Ji-hoon pose for pictures during the online press conference of the new series, “Jirisan”, Wednesday. Courtesy of tvN By Lee Gyu-lee Actors Jun Ji-hyun ... Read more »

Yanolja to acquire 70 percent stake in Interpark's e-commerce businesses

This image provided by Yanolja shows its corporate logo. Korea Times file Yanolja, a leading South Korean travel platform operator, said Thursday that it signed an agreement to buy a ... Read more »

Ko Hyun-jung's new drama, 'Reflection of You,' depicts twists and turns of two women's lives

Actors Ko Hyun-jung, right, and Shin Hyun-been pose during an online press conference for JTBC’s new series, “Reflection of You.” / Courtesy of JTBC By Kwak Yeon-soo JTBC’s new series, ... Read more »

[INTERVIEW] Why Japanese media won't cover comfort women issues

Takashi Uemura in a scene from Shinji Nishijima’s documentary “Target” / Courtesy of BIFF By Kwak Yeon-soo Filmmaker Shinji Nishijima was a Korea correspondent for TBS-JNN when Kim Hak-sun, a ... Read more »

Kazakhstan hosts sixth CICA meeting on regional cooperation and dialogue

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev holds a meeting with the heads of delegations participating in the CICA Foreign Ministers meeting. (Official website of the President of Kazakhstan)Kazakhstan hosted the sixth meeting ... Read more »

SK Broadband launches set-top box with Bang & Olufsen audio

A model promotes SK Broadband’s set-top box, launched in collaboration with Danish high-end audio product maker Bang & Olufsen, in this photo provided by the Korean company. Courtesy of SK ... Read more »

J.P. Morgan sets up new business unit for midcap companies

Ex- Standard Chartered Bank Korea executive to head CCBSI unit By Yi Whan-woo J.P. Morgan said Thursday it launched a new business unit, Corporate Client Banking and Specialized Industries (CCBSI), ... Read more »

Samsung helps youth realize social innovation ideas worldwide

Seen are digital lockers developed by Alec Conway from the U.K. Conway designed the lockers to offer secure storage spaces for homeless people, winning the U.K.’s first Samsung Solve for ... Read more »

SNU professors list their children as co-authors of research papers

The main entrance of Seoul National University / gettyimagesbank By Jun Ji-hye Nearly half of all under-age co-authors listed in research papers from Seoul National University (SNU) were children of ... Read more »

Woori employees donate blood for children with cancer

Woori Financial Group Vice President Choi Dong-soo, left, poses with Korea Childhood Leukemia Foundation Secretary General Seo Sun-won after presenting blood donation cards from the group’s employees, at the foundation’s ... Read more »

LG Electronics launches indoor plant cultivator 'tiiun'

Models pose with LG Electronics’ indoor plant cultivator “tiiun” at a pop-up store in Seongsu-dong in eastern Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of LG Electronics By Baek Byung-yeul LG Electronics has brought ... Read more »

BNK, JB, DGB increase reliance on Naver, Kakao

gettyimagesbank Regional banks becoming too dependent on online platforms By Park Jae-hyuk Concerns are rising over the growing reliance of BNK, JB and DGB financial groups on Naver Financial, Kakao ... Read more »

Ex-Foreign Minister Kang's ILO leadership bid stokes controversy

Former Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, now a distinguished professor emeritus at Ewha Womans University, gives a special lecture at the university in September. (Yonhap)Former Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha’s bid for ... Read more »

Opposition lawmaker referred to prosecution on bribery charges

Rep. Jung Chan-min speaks during a plenary session at the National Assembly in Seoul on Sept. 29, 2021, before a vote on a motion on his arrest. (Yonhap)SUWON — Police ... Read more »

S. Korea to offer compensation to spy agents during Korean War

(Yonhap)The defense ministry plans to provide financial compensation for South Koreans who operated in North Korea as part of US military intelligence units during the 1950-53 Korean War, officials said ... Read more »

Former Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo dies at 71

(Yonhap)Former South Korean Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo died Thursday after battling blood cancer, officials here said. He was 71. Lee served as prime minister shortly between February and April in ... Read more »

EXO's D.O. wraps up filming sci-fi blockbuster 'The Moon'

EXO’s D.O. in the upcoming film, “The Moon” / Courtesy of CJ ENM By Dong Sun-hwa D.O. of K-pop boy band EXO has wrapped up shooting for his role in ... Read more »

Korea Arts Group hosts ‘the color of your mind' multicultural concert

Poster for “Woollim V – The Color of Your Mind” (Korea Arts Group)Korea Arts Group hosted a multicultural concert named “Woollim V – The Color of Your Mind” at Sejong ... Read more »

Defects found in all 4 Global Hawk drones brought from US: lawmaker

This undated file photo, released by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on Sept. 15, 2020, shows an assault drone under development with grenade launchers attached at the bottom. (Defense Acquisition ... Read more »

PM says govt. determined to raise quality of soldier meals

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum speaks during a state affairs inspection and coordination meeting in Sejong, some 120 kilometers south of Seoul, on Thursday. (Yonhap)Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Thursday the ... Read more »

Military reports 8 additional COVID-19 cases

(Yonhap)South Korea’s military reported eight more COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total caseload among its personnel to 1,951, the defense ministry said. Seven Army soldiers, including three trainees at a ... Read more »

[Graphic News] Number of foreign home rental business operators nears 2,400

Nearly 2,400 foreign nationals are engaging in the home rental business in South Korea, with Chinese nationals accounting for more than one-third of the total, government data showed. The number ... Read more »

Court to question key suspect in Seongnam development scandal

Kim Man-bae, owner of asset management firm, Hwacheon Daeyu, speaks to reporters after arriving at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday, for questioning. (Yonhap)A Seoul court was to ... Read more »

US, S. Korea working to restart dialogue with N. Korea: Amb. Lee

South Korean Ambassador to the United States Lee Soo-hyuck (at podium) delivers his opening remarks at the start of an annual parliamentary audit at the South Korean Embassy in Washington ... Read more »

Finding Korean architecture's beauty through night tours

The reflection of Woryeong Bridge lit with lights is seen in the water of Andong Lake, North Gyeongsang Province. Courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization By Jung Da-min ANDONG, YEONGJU / ... Read more »

Steak chef with 20 years of expertise introduces 'Dream Burger'

By Jun Ji-hye Burton Yi, the head chef at Grand Hyatt Jeju’s Steak House located within Jeju Dream Tower, is a world-class chef specializing in steak, as he started his ... Read more »

Carlyle Group to acquire A Twosome Place coffee chain

A Twosome Place image seen on the coffee chain’s official website / Courtesy of A Twosome Place By Anna J. Park The Carlyle Group plans to acquire Korea’s No. 2 ... Read more »

N. Korea slams Japan‘s arms buildup as preparations for aggression

  North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks at a lecture to commemorate the 76th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party on Sunday, in this photo released by the North’s ... Read more »

Sex crime victims need better front-line help: military panel

Park Eun-jeong, co-chair of an advisory panel on rights abuses in the military. (Yonhap)The military should adopt clearer rules to enable victims of sexual violence to find immediate care and ... Read more »

Hotel and outdoor activity vendor plan real-life 'Squid Game' event

Seen is a scene in Netflix’s original series “Squid Game” where participants play a Korean children’s game called “the Mugunghwa flower has bloomed” (known in English as “Red Light, Green ... Read more »

Korea officially prepares for 'living with COVID-19'

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum speaks during a meeting of a government-civilian joint committee handling virus prevention measures at the Government Complex Seoul, Wednesday. Yonhap Over 60% of population fully vaccinatedBy ... Read more »

Im Kwon-taek reflects on films exploring Koreanness, pressures of expectations

Filmmaker Im Kwon-taek / Courtesy of BIFF Master of Korean film shares glorious past, as well as how it limited his creativity By Kwak Yeon-soo BUSAN ― Having created more ... Read more »

Korea's top business lobby seeks more influence in US

People walk outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), as global supply chain disruptions continue to affect the American economy, Oct. 4, in New York City. AFP-Yonhap KCCI considers ... Read more »

[ANALYSIS] Hana faces widening foreign exchange losses

KB, Woori to suffer less impact from won’s sharp depreciation By Lee Min-hyung The sharp weakening of the won against the dollar is dealing an unexpected blow to Hana Financial ... Read more »

Samsung to unveil colorful new Z Flip3 models on Oct. 20

Seen is a poster for Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Unpacked Part 2, an online event scheduled for Oct. 20 (KST). Courtesy of Samsung Electronics By Baek Byung-yeul In a move to ... Read more »