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About Citi Commercial Bank South Korea
Citi was the first foreign bank to establish a presence in Korea in 1967. Citi Commercial Bank (CCB) covers clients primarily from Seoul, South Korea's capital city, and Busan, the world's fifth busiest seaport. CCB Korea offers a combination of local knowledge and global expertise to provide businesses with unmatched products, services and resources.

CCB Korea has offices in China, India, Czech Republic, Russia and the US. Citi's global network allows leading Korean companies to work closely with local teams in over 100 countries. Seamless coverage across world markets enables CCB to deliver customized solutions to Korean clients.

CCB Korea has been recognized as a leading global bank in South Korea and was awarded Best Foreign Commercial Bank in Korea (Finance Asia, 2014).

Ki-Sook Yoo
CCB Korea Country Business Head
Ki-Sook Yoo heads the Commercial Bank (CCB) of Citibank Korea, servicing emerging and mid-sized companies with $10MM-$1 Billion in annual sales revenue. CCB provides companies across South Korea with a full suite of banking services, including loans, cash management, trade, and foreign exchange solutions.

Ki-Sook has twenty years of experience in the industry. Prior to her current role, Ki-Sook was the Chief Risk Officer of Citibank Korea since April 2018 and has supervised franchise-wide risk matters, including market and operational risks as well as the overall corporate & consumer risk portfolios. She made significant contributions to Citibank Korea, leveraging her extensive experience and expertise in the area of risk management.

Ki-Sook initially joined Citi as an Management Associate in 2002 and was appointed as a Fast Track Associate to work in Export Agency Finance HK. She rejoined Citi in July 2010 as the Head of the Institutional Client Group (ICG) Credit Risk Management of Citibank Korea where she was in charge of overseeing Citibank Korea’s ICG portfolio and mapping out business strategy

Ki-Sook’s experience at other international banks in Korea includes heading a Trade Credit Risk Management & Financial Institution Risk Department and as a country risk officer, specializing in derivatives products and structured financing.

Ki-Sook received a Bachelor’s degree in 1995 and Master’s degree in Finance from Seoul National University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She also holds a CFA charter.

"Leveraging our unparelled strength as a Korean franchise of a prestigious global bank, we primarily focus on the areas of cross border cash management, trade, and FX where we can benefit our clients with our expertise.”

- Ki-Sook Yoo

New CEO Seeking to Simplify Overseas Operations
Citigroup Reportedly Considering Withdrawing from Korea
By Yoon Young-sil February 22, 2021, 16:49Share

Citigroup Inc. is reportedly considering pulling out of the retail banking markets of Asia-Pacific countries including South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia.

Citigroup Inc. is reportedly considering withdrawing from the retail banking markets of Asia-Pacific countries including South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia.

Bloomberg reported on Feb. 19 that the U.S. banking giant is studying options for slimming down the firm’s sprawling international consumer operations as part of incoming Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser’s efforts to simplify the bank.

It said that nothing has yet been decided, adding that the current sales system can be maintained as it is, and even if the withdrawal is determined, it will be carried out in a phased manner.

Citibank Korea seems to be focusing on wealth management (WM) rather than retail banking. Its branches have already been drastically cut. At the end of 2016, Citibank Korea had 133 branches. Currently, the number has shrunk to 39. SC First Bank, another foreign bank in Korea, had 212 branches as of the end of June 2020.

Citigroup's move is deeply related to new CEO Jane Fraser. She said in a conference call last month that the group is studying which business sector can lead the market amid the rapid digitization of the world. Fraser recently became the first female CEO in Citigroup's history.

Rumors of Citibank's withdrawal from Korea have surfaced every three years since 2014. Rumors of its withdrawal spread when a large-scale store merger program and voluntary retirements were carried out in June 2014. At the time, newly appointed bank president Park Jin-hoe had to come forward to calm the rumors. When Citibank said it would shut down 101 of its 133 branches in 2017, some analysts said that the bank was trying to pull out of Korea.

In 2018, Citibank's net profit jumped 26.1 percent from the previous year to 307.4 billion won. But it fell 9.1 percent to 279.4 billion won in 2019, and plunged 38 percent to 161.1 billion won by the third quarter of 2020.

"The Korean government will be embarrassed if Citigroup decides to leave Korea. It served as a financial U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK) during the financial crisis in 2008 by helping the United States and Korea sign a currency swap," said a financial industry insider.

Citigroup may divest Korean banking subsidiary
By Jung Min-kyungPublished : Feb 21, 2021 - 15:47 Updated : Feb 22, 2021 - 10:58
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A view of the exterior of the Citibank corporate headquarters in New York, New York, US, May 20, 2015.(Reuters)
A view of the exterior of the Citibank corporate headquarters in New York, New York, US, May 20, 2015.(Reuters)
Citigroup has been mulling divestiture of its South Korean banking subsidiary, among other international consumer units, but is treading cautiously, reports and statements released as of Sunday showed.

According to Bloomberg Law on Friday, the New York-based multinational banking giant has been considering divesting units tied to retail banking across the Asia-Pacific region, including those in Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia. The reports precede the rise of Citigroup’s incoming Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser, who will take the reins from CEO Michael Corbat on March 1.

“As our incoming CEO Jane Fraser said in January, we are undertaking a dispassionate and thorough review of our strategy, including our mix of businesses and how they fit together,” Citigroup said in a statement released in English.

“Many different options are being considered and we will take the right amount of time before making any decisions,” it added.

A source at Citibank Korea told The Korea Herald on Sunday that the firm has yet to receive any messages from the New York headquarters indicating divestiture, such as downsizing or resignation requests. The official declined to give further details on the matter.

The Korean subsidiary struggled with its performance last year, hit by risks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with heightened competition among local banks. The pandemic has pushed five major banking groups here to speed up digitalization of their services, as fintech firms such as Kakao Bank and financial units of Naver began amassing more customers and seeing greater demand.

Citibank Korea’s accumulated net profit in the January-September period last year shed 38 percent on-year to 161 billion won ($145.5 million). While the flagship retail banking units under the five major banking groups -- Shinhan, Woori, KB, Hana and NH NongHyup -- all saw losses in the same period, their unprecedented gains from lending to prospective homebuyers cushioned the damage.

For example, Shinhan Bank and KB Kookmin Bank’s accumulated net profits for the first three quarters of last year declined 10.7 percent and 6.2 percent on-year to 1.7 trillion won and 1.8 trillion won, respectively.
Citibank Korea CEO Yoo Myung-soon (Citibank Korea)
Citibank Korea CEO Yoo Myung-soon (Citibank Korea)

Citibank Korea has yet to announce its fourth-quarter performance.

Revenue from Citi’s consumer banking business in Asia fell 15 percent to $1.55 billion in the last three months of 2020.

If Fraser decided to go ahead with a divestiture plan, it would be nothing new. The incoming CEO was behind the shocking offloading of retail banking and credit card operations in Brazil, Argentina and Colombia after being appointed as Citigroup’s head of Latin America in 2015.

Citibank Korea was launched in November 2004 after a merger between the group’s local unit, Citibank Seoul, and KorAm Bank, then the country’s seventh-largest lender. The first branch here opened in 1967.

Yoo Myung-soon took office last year as Citibank Korea’s first female CEO and remains at the helm.

By Jung Min-kyung (


South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean police said on Thursday they are searching for the mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, after his daughter reported him missing.

Park Won-soon et al. posing for the camera: FILE PHOTO: Park Won-soon, candidate for mayor of Seoul, celebrates his victory in Seoul© Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji FILE PHOTO: Park Won-soon, candidate for mayor of Seoul, celebrates his victory in Seoul
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said officers were searching for him around Sungbuk-dong, a district in northern Seoul, where his phone signal was last detected.

His daughter reported him missing at 5:17 p.m. (0817 GMT) and said his phone was off, the police said.

Park, who has been the mayor of Seoul since 2011, is seen as a potential presidential hopeful for the liberals in the 2022 presidential elections.

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Overall, there are 148 licensed banks in South Korea, consisting of 52 commercial banks, 5 specialized banks, and 91 mutual savings banks. Banks in South Korea are regulated by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), which is responsible for examining and supervising financial institutions under the broad oversight of the Financial Services Commission (FSC). The Bank of Korea is the country’s central bank, which is responsible for issuing the Korean won and maintaining price stability.

According to Moody’s, the outlook for the Korean banking system is negative, due to weak domestic consumer sentiment and rising policy risk in the country and abroad.

For anyone considering a career in banking in South Korea, this list of the top banks in South Korea is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our lists of financial institutions.

The top banks in South Korea are:

Shinhan Financial Group
Established in 1897, Shinhan Financial Group was the first of the banks in South Korea, founded under the name Hanseong Bank. The bank operates through its Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, International Banking, and Other Banking segments. Headquartered in Seoul, it manages 871 branches and 27 private wealth management service centers in South Korea, as well as 14 branches in other countries. The bank employs around 13,400 staff.

As of 2016, total assets of the bank were US$341 billion.

NongHyup Financial Group
Founded in 1961, NongHyup Financial Group was created from the merger of Agricultural Bank and Agricultural Federation. The group provides financing, mortgages, personal lines of credit, corporate finance, real estate finance, and new technology finance services. It also offers life, property, and casualty insurance products. Headquartered in Seoul, the bank employs around 13,000 staff.

In 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$315 billion.

KB Financial Group
Headquartered in Seoul, KB Financial Group is a financial holding company that offers financial services through its subsidiaries. The group operates through various business segments: Retail Banking Operations, Corporate Banking Operations, Other Banking Operations, Credit Card Operations, Investment and Securities Operations, and Life Insurance Operations.

The corporate banking operations consist of corporate banking services. The group’s other banking operations include treasury activities and back office administrative operations. The investment and securities operations consists of securities brokerage, investment banking, securities investment and trading, and other capital markets services. The life insurance segment comprises life insurance and wealth management services.

In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$275 billion.

Hana Financial Group
Hana Financial Group was created in 1971 and is headquartered in Seoul. The bank offers mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, fundraising, risk management advisory, and securities trading and underwriting services. It was formerly known as Hana Daetoo Securities Co. Ltd. and changed its name to Hana Financial Investment Co. Ltd. in September 2015. It employs around 19,000 staff.

As of 2016, total assets of the bank were US$308 billion.

Korea Development Bank
Founded in 1954, Korea Development Bank is headquartered in Seoul. The bank provides deposit products, corporate banking products, investment banking products, and international banking products.

In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$1,000 billion and total income of US$19 million.

Woori Financial Group
The bank offers commercial banking products and services to individual customers, small and medium-sized enterprises, and major corporations in South Korea. It operates through six segments: Consumer Banking, Corporate Banking, Capital Markets, Investment Banking, Credit Card, and Other Operations. Woori Bank, a subsidiary of Woori Financial Group, is Headquartered in Seoul and employs 15,000 staff and manages 894 branches in South Korea and 22 branches internationally.

In 2017, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$296 billion and total income reached US$1.416 billion.

Industrial Bank of Korea
Industrial Bank of Korea was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Seoul. The bank operates through Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Money Market, IB, Credit Card Operations, Foreign Exchange, and Others segments.

It manages approximately 570 branches and 47 depositary offices in South Korea, and 11 overseas offices. The bank’s total assets were US$254 billion as of 2018.

BNK Financial Group
Headquartered in Busan, BNK Financial Group is one of the top five financial groups in South Korea. Founded in 2011, the group, together with its subsidiaries, operates through Bank, Financial Investment, Specialized Credit Finance, and Mutual Savings Bank segments. The bank business offers services that include internet banking, financial products, asset management services, apartment application deposit, fund products, and variable annuities. It was formerly known as BS Financial Group Inc. and changed its name to BNK Financial Group Inc. in April 2015.

In 2016, the bank reported US$83 million in total assets.

DGB Financial Group
Established in 1967, DGB Financial Group is one of the largest regional banks in South Korea, mostly serving customers in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk region. The bank provides deposits, new technology business loans, personal loans, and other loans. It also offers automobile financing and facility lease services, foreign exchange, fund and bancassurance, asset management, issue, charge, electronic money, and Internet banking services.

As of 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$47 billion and total income reached US$491 million.

Kakao Bank
Founded in 2016, Kakao Bank is a subsidiary of Korea Investment Holdings Ltd. It is the first internet bank in South Korea. The bank provides every type of banking service, from lending and savings to overseas remittance and credit cards. The digital-only bank signed 2.9 million users during its first month of operation, including a record 187,000 customers on its opening day.

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