Consumers will likely be entitled to call for the Financial Supervisory Service to conduct probes into financial firms such as commercial banks and insurance firms.
Choi Soo-hyun, who took office as governor of the FSS on Monday, pledged to introduce consumer-initiated investigations in the financial market.
The new chief regulator’s policy reflects his strong commitment to bolstering the protection of consumers, as the number of irregular business practices has continued to grow in the financial sector.
“As well as financial authorities, it is necessary for consumers to have the right to look into financial firms (engaging in unfair practices) by requesting the FSS probe,” Choi told reporters.
“To map out details for the system, an independent board comprising outside experts will be forged,” he said.
In particular, Choi pointed to the insurance sector during his inaugural speech earlier in the day.
“The number of consumers’ complaints and petitions over insurance firms recently surged,” he said. “The FSS will seek a variety of methods to curb the growing disputes (between consumers and insurers).”
Choi also vowed to secure financial stability to brace for any headwinds in and outside the country amid the slowing economy.
He also promised to enhance efforts to provide financial support to the low-income bracket that are more vulnerable and exposed to potential default, in line with the government’s policy move to ease the financial burden on the underprivileged.
“The FSS will push for regulatory policies that will help smaller firms and self-employed workers in South Korea grow their businesses,” said the new governor.
He said the authorities would take swift actions with corporate restructuring if any of them is deemed too weak to stand alone so as to preempt the possible spread of default.
He was named FSS governor on Friday after his predecessor Kwon Hyouk-se tendered his resignation.
Born in 1955 in Yesan, South Chungcheong Province, Choi had worked for the Finance Ministry as a senior civil servant.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org