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[Sponsored Report] First in Korea, soon first in Asia

Locally, KB has focused on customer service, while expanding overseas.

Nov 26,2009
Kookmin Bank CEO Kang Chung-won, third from right, holds up the bank’s ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation with Norwegian Ambassador Didrik Tonseth Nov. 4. It is the most prestigious international certification in information technology.
This year is the eighth anniversary of the merger between Kookmin Bank and Housing & Commercial Bank in 2001, and the new KB has come a long way toward becoming a leader in Asian finance. KB has even maintained its place as the leading bank in Korea despite drastic changes after the IMF bailout 10 years ago.

Kookmin’s total assets are now 266.2 trillion won ($230 billion). Since KB reached 2 trillion won in net profit for the first time in 2005, it has continued to break that level for three years in a row. Overdue loans accounted for just 0.8 percent of total lending at the end of September, down from 2.51 percent in 2001, while non-profit loans fell from 3.56 percent to 1.41 percent during the same period.

S&P rates Kookmin at an A, the same rating it gave to the Korean government, while Moody’s puts it at A2 and Fitch Ratings at A+. As a result, Kookmin Bank is the only bank in Korea that all three major international credit ratings companies have placed at the same level as the government.

The three key factors that led to the development of KB are its adherence to key values, its constant innovation and talent-oriented leadership.

The bank has set up a vision and value system for continuous growth and development. To become a global bank leading Asian finance, KB has set as its main goals quality customer service, advanced systems and world-class talent. The bank is also determined never to become complacent.

CEO Kang Chung-won has instituted innovations in organizational culture to help the bank achieve integrated business planning. In 2009, Kookmin is using the crisis as a chance to leap forward, with “honesty, accuracy, promptness and courtesy” as its key action points.

CEO Kang remarked, “If KB Kookmin Bank fails to win over customers with our more convenient, more efficient and more advanced financial services, it will lose its status as the leading bank in Korea.”

Since Kang set customer satisfaction as a vital goal, the bank has carried out a slew of promotional activities to win the top ranking in that category. As a result, the bank has received top honors in major local customer satisfaction surveys, including the National Customer Satisfaction Index and the Korean Customer Satisfaction Index, for three years in a row.

Next, KB will enhance the current financial system through creative new ideas and bigger, faster and more flexible organization.

To enhance customer value, the bank will develop specialized service with differentiated products, providing the industry’s best experience at a quick pace and a low cost.

KB has been expanding into overseas markets since 2007, with an eye to overcoming the limitations of local banking, to prepare for the dawn of a unified international financial market and to accommodate the rapid growth of Asia. KB has entered markets that are close in geographical and cultural terms and that show rapid economic growth. The bank established the KB Triangle Network, which links China, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, and plans to transfer its key overseas operations to this network while enticing local customers.

KB will also reinforce synergies among its subsidiaries through joint marketing and maintain its status as the best bank in Korea by growing into a global bank leading the Asian financial market.

By Lee Ji-hyun [concordia@joongang.co.kr]


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