Savings banks executives found manipulating customers’ assets

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Savings banks executives found manipulating customers’ assets

More rotten savings banks were shut down this year, four in all, rattling customers who had their assets manipulated by executives for their own personal gain.

But the spotlight stayed on the rogues who ran the banks - and the politicians that helped them.

The most notorious was Kim Chan-kyong, chairman of Mirae Savings Bank, who tried to flee to China in a small boat after financial regulators suspended his bank. He looted 20 billion won ($18.7 million) from the bank’s vaults to bring with him, but he was caught by the Coast Guard.

Later, Kim was revealed to be a credit delinquent - they’re not legally allowed to run finance companies - and lied about majoring in law at Seoul National University.

Mirae was one of the largest banks in the industry, with assets of 2 trillion won.

Kim and Lim Suk, chairman of the suspended Solomon Savings Bank, were also found to have given bribes to President Lee Myung-bak’s older brother Lee Sang-deuk, a lawmaker of the ruling Saenuri Party.

Lee Sang-deuk was arrested, the first sibling of an incumbent president to be locked up.

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