Go to contents

Dishonored bills feared to increase due to Kookmin, H&CB strike

Dishonored bills feared to increase due to Kookmin, H&CB strike

Posted December. 25, 2000 11:59,   


With the unionized workers' strike of Kookmin Bank and Housing and Commercial Bank showing signs of continuing for a long time, individual customers' inconvenience has been intensifying, and fears are high for the bills of small businesses to be dishonored.

The impact of the two banks' staff walkouts appears to be much greater than the general strike of financial workers in July in that the strike is taking place at the end of the year when the settlement of accounts is in a rush.

The strikes also are hitting the financial market hard because the two banks have as many as 28 million customers and share a considerable proportion of the loan market for retailers and small companies.

The Korea Financial Industry Union (FKIU) and the labor unions of the two banks said Sunday that the ongoing strike would be connected to the federation's general strike scheduled for Thursday.

The government convened an emergency meeting of related ministers Sunday morning to work out countermeasures to help minimize the ill effects of the strike.

The measures include, among others, the operation of merged bank branches by alternative manpower and asking for cooperation of other financial institutions.

Defining the strike of the two banks' unions as illegal, the government said it would mobilize police to stop the walkout.

A 33-year-old housewife, identified as Hwang, living in Sindang-dong in Seoul, went to a Kookmin Bank branch to cancel the contract for installment savings in order to prepare a housing fund, but she was unable to withdraw the deposited money. She complained that she has to pay overdue charges exceeding 17 percent a year.

The government¡¯s detailed countermeasures are the operation of the 88 merged branches of the two banks, dispatch of 475 persons of the Industrial Bank of Korea, the National Agricultural Cooperatives Federation and Financial Supervisory Service to the two banks.