Korean banks' employee numbers drop 9.2% in 2018

The rise of mobile and online banking meant less branch staff.

The number of employees working at Korea's banking and finance industry dropped 4% in Q3 2018 compared to the previous quarter in 2016, according to a study by corporate tracking firm CEO Score as cited by The Korean Herald. Korea’s five major banks including Shinhan Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, and NH Nonghyup Bank saw their employee pool shrink by 9.2% or 5,726 employees over the two-year period.

According to the findings, the decline in the number of employees could be partially blamed to the expansion of Internet-based banking services which meant less staff to man the bank's physical outlets.

Also read: Is branch banking still relevant as Singapore lenders migrate their services online?

Amongst the five major banks, KB Kookmin saw the largest drop in its employees by 14.8% or 16,858 people. This was followed by manpower decline in KEB Hana Bank, which fell 12.2% or 1,794 people; Woori Bank, which dipped 5.3% or 801 people, Shinhan Bank, which slipped 4% or 563 people, and NH Nonghyup Bank, with a 3.1% decrease in manpower or 432 people.

The study noted that the number of employees in the life insurance sector of the major banking groups also declined by 2.9% (585 people) in Q3 2018.

On the other hand, Korea’s non-life insurance sector saw an increase in employee numbers which rose by 1.2% or 315 employees over the same period. Securities companies and savings banks also recorded increases of 0.8% and 3.8%, respectively.

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