BOK retirees get cozy jobs in finance

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BOK retirees get cozy jobs in finance

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Of 14 senior officials at the Bank of Korea who retired in the last four years, seven ended up getting cushy jobs in the financial sector, which is directly overseen by the central bank.

This raises concerns about cozy ties between the BOK and the banks leading to corruption, according to a document the central bank submitted to Democratic United Party lawmaker Jung Sung-ho during its annual parliamentary audit yesterday.

According to the document, Jung said, a BOK deputy governor who retired in 2009 got a new job as an auditor at Hana SK Card while another deputy governor was hired as the CEO of the Seoul Money Brokerage. After he served three years, he was replaced last April by yet another former BOK deputy governor.

A BOK auditor was named an outside director at SK Group and a BOK monetary policy committee member works as an outside director for Samsung Life. Four of the retired BOK officials got jobs at state-run financial institutions.

Under the civil servants’ ethics law, a two-year ban is placed on retiring officials to prevent them from taking jobs with private companies they had official dealings with during the five years prior to retirement. But the BOK said these seven ex-BOK officials had no legal problems getting related jobs in the private sector because they got preliminary approvals from the government ethics committee.

Under the law, if retiring officials get preliminary approvals from the ethics committee prior to their retirement, they are exempted from the ban.

“The BOK will not escape criticism for revolving-door employment and parachute appointments if its ex-officials get jobs at private companies, banks and state-run financial institutions immediately after they retire,” Jung said.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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