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BOK chief urges banks to enhance productivity

South Korea’s central bank chief on Friday called for domestic banks to enhance productivity amid the country’s slowing growth.

“The International Monetary Fund has recently stressed the need to increase growth potential while revising down the growth outlook for the global economy,” Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said at a policy meeting with the heads of 10 major banks here.

“In the end, productivity improvement through innovation is key to achieving this goal.”

While sluggish growth has weighed on most economies across the world, the pressure is especially heavy on South Korea, with its fast aging society, according to the monetary policymaker.

Attending the meeting were KB Kookmin Bank CEO Hur Yin, KEB Hana Bank CEO Ji Sung-kyoo, Woori Bank CEO Sohn Tae-seung, Shinhan Bank CEO Jin Ok-dong, NH NongHyup Bank CEO Lee Dae-hoon, Industrial Bank of Korea CEO Kim Do-jin, Export-Import Bank of Korea CEO Bang Moon-kyu, Citibank Korea CEO Park Jin-hei, and Suhyup Bank CEO Lee Dong-bin.

Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol (fifth from right) meets with major bank chiefs in a policy meeting on Friday. (Bank of Korea)
Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol (fifth from right) meets with major bank chiefs in a policy meeting on Friday. (Bank of Korea)


The BOK chief’s remarks came amid growing speculation that the country’s growth this year may fall short of forecasts.

After slashing its outlook to 2.2 percent in July this year, the BOK has hinted in recent months that even this revised figure “may not be easy to attain.” The final outlook is slated to be revealed later this month.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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