KEB workers earn highest wages among top six banks

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KEB workers earn highest wages among top six banks

Employee salaries at Korea Exchange Bank (KEB), Korea’s fifth-largest lender, were the highest among the country’s six largest banks, industry data showed yesterday.

KEB paid an average of 51.7 million won ($45,858) to its employees during the first three quarters of 2011, the highest among Korea’s six lenders, according to industry data.

Hana Bank, the fourth-largest lender in Asia’s No. 4 economy, had the lowest average salary in the same period with 38 million won.

Following a regulatory approval last week, Hana Financial Group, the parent group of Hana Bank, is scheduled to complete this week the takeover of a major stake in KEB from Lone Star Funds, the Texas-based buyout fund that purchased bad debt-plagued KEB in 2003.

“When Lone Star became the bank’s largest shareholder, [the new management] hiked salaries to the highest in the industry to appease KEB’s hard-line labor union,” said an official at the bank industry, on request of anonymity.

Once Hana finalizes the acquisition, the number of employees at Hana Bank and KEB will amount to 17,000, trailing only Kookmin Bank, which hires 21,000 employees.

KEB, which hires only 7,627 people, also outperformed its rivals in profitability per employees, during the January-September period.

Industrial Bank of Korea came in second followed by Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank and Hana Bank.

Kookmin Bank, the country’s largest lender by assets, had the lowest profitability, data showed.


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