February 16, 2019

After hiring scandal, Korean banks to resume recruitment in H2

PUBLISHED : May 14, 2018 - 17:00

UPDATED : May 14, 2018 - 17:06

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[THE INVESTOR] The nation’s top five banks that are still reeling from hiring scandals are resuming their regular recruitment session in the latter half of this year, with the total new hiring reaching more than 1,800, according to the firms on May 14.

The five banks -- KB Kookmin, Shinhan, Woori, KEB Hana and NH NongHyup -- are expected to hire a total of 2,600 employees this year, including 850 in the first half, which compares to last year’s 2,175. 

Shinhan plans to hire 300 workers, almost 10-fold from last year’s 30. Woori, which is still carrying out the H1 recruitment session for 200 employees, plans to hire a total of 750 people through the whole year, up 26 percent from a year ago.

Kookmin and Hana that usually hire new employees in the second half are expected to add more employees this year compared to last year’s 500 and 250, respectively. NongHyup that hired 350 people in the first half has not yet decided on the H2 recruitment.

Industry watchers say banks are hiring more people in the latter half of this year as they didn’t hire people in the first half amid ongoing investigations into their hiring irregularities. According to the Financial Supervisory Service, discrimination based on age, gender and schools was prevalent during the evaluation process at major banks.

Prosecutors’ investigations are ongoing based on the tentative results by the financial authorities. In order for a more transparent evaluation, the banks have come up with upgraded regulations, including blind interviews and screening by a third-party examiner.

Below are the key allegations against the banks. 

Hana Bank

-- 22 children of VIP customers were given undue favors to be hired.
-- Sexism was prevalent. The bank manipulated the gender ratio to hire more male candidates; two females with higher scores were excluded in the final.
-- Choe Heung-sik, the FSS head, resigned in March for ordering the bank to hire a friend’s son in 2013 when he was chairman of Hana Financial Group. 

Shinhan Bank

-- 13 children of executives (five of Shinhan Bank, teo of Shinhan Card and six of Shinhan Life Insurance) and nine others of influential figures, including a ranking FSS official, were hired after getting unfair favors.
-- Agism was rampant. Applications from those older than 33 were denied. Younger candidates were given higher scores in the evaluation.
-- Despite the similar ratio of male and female applications, the bank fixed the rate to three to seven in the screening process. 

KB Kookmin Bank

-- Three children of executives, including grand-niece of Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo, were hired due to favors. The chairman’s grand-niece remained at the bottom of the applicants before the final interview.
-- The bank gave higher scores to 100 male candidates in 2015. 

Woori Bank

-- 37 children of ranking government officials and VIP customers were hired between 2015 and 2017.
-- In November, the bank’s president and CEO Lee Kwang-koo resigned after the hiring irregularities were revealed.

By Park Ga-young (

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