Scandal focus shifts to former governor of FSS

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Scandal focus shifts to former governor of FSS

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After prosecutors raided the office of the commissioner of the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit yesterday, officials at the agency stand guard in front of the office to ward off incoming reporters. By Kim Do-hoon


The spotlight in the ever-expanding Busan Savings Bank Group scandal has shifted to Kim Jong-chang, former governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, after he was found to have helped create a real estate company that invested in the group.

According to financial authorities, Asia Trust Co., a real estate trust business, took part in a paid-in capital increase of the now-suspended Busan Savings Bank Group last year. Former FSS Governor Kim established Asia Trust Co. with the former head of Korea Export-Import Bank, Lee Young-hoi, in 2007. Lee, who was a junior colleague of Kim’s at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, is currently chief executive of Asia Trust. Kim and Lee were the main investors.

Kim served as an outside director of Asia Trust from July 2007 to March 2008, when he stepped in as FSS governor, according to financial authorities. He stepped down from the FSS in March.

In June 2010, Asia Trust participated in a paid-in capital increase of Busan Savings Bank while Kim was FSS governor.

Kim allegedly used his influence at the FSS to make sure inspections of Busan Savings Bank Group were not too rigorous, according to prosecutors, at the behest of Eun Jin-soo, recently resigned inspection commissioner at the Board of Audit and Inspection. Prosecutors said they have secured a statement from a bank official that Eun asked Kim to “go easy on an inspection on Busan Savings Bank.”

The scandal was first thought to involve lower ranking, regional FSS officials. Upon the outbreak of the scandal, a financial authority said, “High-ranking officials wouldn’t have known whether regional officials took bribes or not.”

Kim held 40,000 shares, worth 400 million won ($372,000), in Asia Trust under his wife’s name and sold them before he was inaugurated as FSS governor in March 2008.

Financial authorities said that in June 2010 Asia Trust participated in a paid-in capital increase of Busan Savings Bank Group, investing around 9 billion won to acquire 348,000 shares in the group, which accounted for around 4.7 percent of total shares.

Just three months later, it sold around 2.6 billion won worth of shares, or 97,000 shares. And right before the group was closed by financial regulators in February, Asia Trust again sold around 2.1 billion won worth of shares, or 78,000 shares.

As a result, Asia Trust recovered a total of 4.7 billion won from its total investment. Its remaining 173,000 shares, once worth around 4.4 billion, are now worthless.

Asia Trust denied that it was given any inside information from Kim in the course of investing in Busan Savings Bank Group or selling its investment.

Prosecutors plan to summon Kim sometime this week to find out whether he abused his authority in the FSS in regards to inspections of Busan Savings Bank Group and what he knew of FSS officials’ links to the group.

Meanwhile, prosecutors searched the office of Kim Gwang-soo, commissioner of the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit, which is under the Financial Services Commission, yesterday to see if he used his influence to save the troubled group.

The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit is supposed to monitor money laundering and suspicious financial transactions.

The prosecution said it had testimony from indicted Busan Savings Bank executives that they offered Kim bribes and asked him to lobby state-run financial watchdogs, including the Financial Services Commission, to prevent the bank from being suspended.

According to prosecutor, Kim served as director of the Financial Services Commission’s Financial Services Bureau from March 2008 to December 2009 and his major tasks were to approve mergers and suspensions of savings banks.

Prosecutors said Kim was involved in approving Busan Savings Bank Group’s takeover of troubled Daejeon Mutual Savings Bank in November 2008. They’re currently looking into whether Kim used his power to help the bank make the acquisition.

Before Kim was appointed the commissioner of the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit in March, he worked as chief adviser to the Grand National Party’s state affairs committee from December 2009 to March 2011 after he retired from the Financial Services Commission in December 2009. He joined the FSC in 1998.

Kim graduated from Gwangju Jeil High School, as did Busan Savings Bank Chairman Park Yeon-ho and Vice Chairman Kim Yang.

Busan Savings Bank executives have been indicted for financial crimes involving nearly 7.7 trillion won ($7.1 billion) after the group was suspended in February due to capital shortages.


By Jung Jae-yoon, Kim Mi-ju [jyj222@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

중수부, 김종창 前금감원장 주중 소환

역대 금감원장 출신 3번째 검찰 출석
저축銀 투자회사 임원 재직…유착여부 조사

대검찰청 중앙수사부(김홍일 검사장)는 부산저축은행그룹의 구명 청탁을 받은 의혹이 있는 김종창(63) 전 금융감독원장을 이르면 이번 주중 참고인 신분으로 소환할 방침인 것으로 1일 알려졌다.

대검 관계자는 "(김 전 원장의) 소환 시기를 내부적으로 조율하고 있다. 정해지는 대로 출석을 통보할 방침"이라고 말했다.

김 전 원장 측도 변호인을 통해 검찰에 출석하겠다는 의사를 전달한 것으로 알려졌다.

김 전 원장은 지난달 30일 은진수(50.구속) 전 감사원 감사위원의 혐의사실이 공개되면서 로비 연루 의혹이 불거진 뒤 시내 모처에 머무르며 변호인과 검찰 소환에 대비하고 있는 것으로 전해졌다.

검찰은 김 전 원장을 일단 참고인 신분으로 부를 계획이지만 조사과정에서 금감원의 부산저축은행 검사에 개입한 정황 등이 드러나면 피의자로 신분이 바뀔 수 있다.

재직중 비리 의혹에 연루돼 금감원장 출신이 검찰 조사를 받는 것은 2003년 나라종금 로비사건으로 유죄가 선고된 이용근 전 금감원장, 2007년 김흥주 로비사건으로 소환된 이근영 전 금감원장에 이어 김 전 원장이 세 번째다.

검찰은 김 전 원장을 상대로 금감원 비은행검사국(저축은행서비스국)이 수조원대의 프로젝트파이낸싱(PF) 불법대출과 BIS(국제결제은행) 기준 자기자본비율 조작 등 부산저축은행그룹의 비리를 검사과정에서 파악하고도 묵인한 경위를 확인할 계획이다.

또 김 전 원장이 부산저축은행그룹 계열은행에 대한 검사 강도와 제재 수준을 완화하는 데 직간접적으로 개입하거나 검사 실무 책임자 등에게 부당한 영향력을 행사한 사실이 있는지 추궁할 계획이다.

검찰은 이와 관련 "은진수 위원이 평소 친분이 있다는 김종창 원장에게 `부산저축은행 쪽 검사는 편의를 좀 봐줘야 한다`고 부탁했고 김 원장이 실무자들에게 지시를 해뒀다는 얘기를 들었다"는 취지의 은행 관계자 진술을 확보한 것으로 알려졌다.

은 전 위원은 김양(59.구속기소) 부산저축은행그룹 부회장의 측근이자 정관계 로비 창구 역할을 한 윤여성(56.구속)씨한테서 검사 무마 청탁과 함께 자신과 친형 앞으로 모두 1억7천만원을 받은 혐의로 전날 구속됐다.

검찰은 또 김 전 원장이 부산저축은행에 투자한 부동산 신탁회사의 임원으로 재직했던 사실에 주목, 유착 가능성이 있는지 등 사실관계를 파악 중이다.

김 전 원장은 2008년 3월 금감원장으로 취임하기 직전까지 부동산 신탁업체인 아시아신탁㈜의 등기이사로 재직했으며, 이 회사는 지난해 6월 부산저축은행의 주식을 사들이는 방식으로 90억원을 투자했다가 일부를 처분한 것으로 드러났다.

지금까지 부산저축은행을 비롯한 저축은행 비리에 연루돼 체포·구속되는 등 수사 선상에 오른 금감원 전·현직 간부는 10여명에 달하고, 금감원 직원 40명 이상이 참고인으로 검찰 조사를 받았다.

검찰은 지난해 부산저축은행그룹과 고문변호사 계약을 맺었던 박종록(59·사법연수원 10기) 변호사로부터 로비를 받은 정황이 드러난 김장호 금감원 부원장보도 조만간 소환할 방침이다.

저축은행 업무를 총괄해온 김 부원장보는 삼화저축은행에서 1천만원 상당의 금품을 받은 의혹이 제기돼 최근 사의를 표명했다.

한편 검찰은 부산저축은행그룹이 정관계에 줄을 대고자 기용한 거물급 로비스트인 박태규(캐나다 체류)씨의 신병을 확보하기 위해 해외 수사공조를 추진하고 있다.

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