S.Korea bank supervision law clears hurdle; regulator upset

December 7, 2009

    SEOUL, Dec 7 (Reuters) – A bill to hand South Korea’s central bank a role in supervising banks cleared a big hurdle on Monday, earning immediate rebuke from the top financial regulator.
   The National Assembly’s powerful finance committee gave its blessing to the bill allowing the Bank of Korea to conduct its own probe into banks as part of a new role aimed at maintaining financial stability.
   The central bank lost its powers to supervise financial institutions in the aftermath of the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis. They were handed to the newly created regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
   “It is a pity and it is regrettable that the revised Bank of Korea act passed the finance committee,” FSC chairman Chin Dong-soo told reporters. “The government is opposed to this revised act.”
   Banks also criticised the bill, saying it would add to their burdens. [ID:nSEO127240] [ID:nSEO194897]
   “Giving grounds for the Bank of Korea to require a joint investigation in relation to financial market stability will increase banks’ workload and harm their management efficiency,” the Korea Federation of Banks said in a statement.
   The bill still has to be approved by the judiciary committee before a full parliamentary vote.
   Under current law, the central bank must go through the FSC and its implementing agency, the Financial Supervisory Service, if it wants access to detailed information on financial firms, including their foreign securities holdings and other investments.
   Pressure to change the law comes after criticism last year that the authorities were slow in dealing with market jitters about the foreign debt exposure of local banks. (Reporting by Kim Yeon-hee and Seo Eun-kyung; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher & Jan Dahinten) ((yeonhee.kim@thomsonreuters.com; +82 2 3704 5646; Reuters Messaging: yeonhee.kim.reuters.com@reuters.net))
  ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to newsfeedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com))
Keywords: KOREA BANKS/REGULATION
   . Keywords: KOREA BANKS/REGULATION
  
Monday, 07 December 2009 10:23:38RTRS [nTOE5B60A8] {C}ENDS

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