Korean savings banks have a 43-year history starting in 1972 and have an important position to represent very popular financial institutions for the public. Through the historical streams of these banks, they had experienced very high growth periods for some periods and the suffering periods of restructuring due to the insolvency causes for the other periods.
Financial institutions’ insolvency problems incurred the direct harms to the customers and depositors transacting with these banks. The government officials injected the public funds for their bailout and were criticized for the wastes of people’s tax which should be used for the national welfare.
The main objectives of this study is to trace out the insolvency causes of the Korean savings banks and to suggest the policy alternatives to prevent this crises. It is suggested that large scale savings banks should be transformed into local commercial banks and obtain the flexibility through M&A. Also this study recommends the policy alternatives such as the improvement of the governance structure, the owning patterns of these banks and the internal control and inspection function strengthening.
The current savings banks recently have finished the structural adjustment and have been stabilized with the recovery of the business environments. But they have the most importantly vital tasks to enlarge their abilities to deal with the changes of the external financial environments effectively. In the short run, they have the tasks to solve the problems such as the reducement pressures of the limited maximum interests, the appearance of the specialized banks based on the Internet, and the extension of the P2P markets. The their long run tasks are to predict the future of the fintech industry development, and to prepare for the ever-changing business environments.
To cope actively with the external environment changes, necessary policies are to strengthen the internal potential abilities and to enhance the suitable policy responsibility of the inspection institutions. The government should play roles to induce and guide these banks to overcome these difficulties and not to repeat the phenomena to bog down to the insolvency bondages.
This study tries to focus on the government policies’ directions and effectiveness related to the environmental changes surrounding the savings banking industry in Korea. Also this study suggests the long run and stable development plans for the Korean savings banks.
Toward the other sides of this discussion, we have a future research direction to analyse the Korean savings banks using statistical and econometric methods. With the shortage of the statistical data, this study has many restraints not to compare these banks consistently due to many changes of this industry, the repetitive exits and entrances of these banks and the different business environments between national and local savings banks.