SEOUL -- The South Korean financial sector has been embroiled in a controversy that it has inflated its recruiting capacity while carrying out the financial authorities' order to hire more young employees. Unlike the original plan to recruit 4,719 new employees, the actual number turned out to be only 2,654, according to an exclusive report by Seoul-based news media company Economic Daily.
During a policy briefing on February 13, President Yoon Suk-yeol criticized the banks benefiting from high-interest rates are spending an excessive amount of funds on employees' merit pay and dividends for shareholders while citizens are suffering from high-interest rates and high prices. After the president's order, the financial sector including six associations and 186 finance companies unveiled their mass recruitment plan. According to the original report, 2,288 members were slated to be recruited by banks, 1,035 by the investment industry, 279 by the loan sector, 453 by the life insurance sector, 513 by the property insurance sector, and 151 by savings banks.
Economic Daily reported that the actual number of employees to be hired is only 2,654, which accounts for 40 percent of the original plan. By industry, only 953 applicants will be selected by banks, 702 by investment companies, 188 by the loan industry, 259 by the life insurance sector, 431 by the property insurance sector, and 121 by savings banks.
The South Korean media company pointed out that the result was caused by the administration, which aimed to appease the public without proper review. Economic Daily stated that finance associations were pressured to announce their recruitment plans before holding a conference on February 13.
"It is the first time since the associations have come forward and asked for the recruiting capacity and its period," a stock firm official told Economic Daily on condition of anonymity. The official added, "When the association inquired about the recruitment plan in the past, we used to answer that we haven't decided yet, but this time, we were asked to write down a specific plan."
Without disclosing specific information, Economic Daily said multiple finance association officials received official documents from the Financial Services Commission, a state financial regulator.
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