Investigation of massive data leaks winds down

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Investigation of massive data leaks winds down

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) says it will conclude its investigation into the nation’s worst personal information leaks by the end of the month and impose penalties on executives and employees of the companies involved.

The unprecedented action stems from leaks that occurred last year and were discovered in January.

Those subject to punishment include three credit card companies - KB Kookmin Card, Lotte Card and NH Nonghyup Card - and 10 banks.

The punishment is likely to be the largest ever in the financial sector and could involve a maximum of 400 employees of the institutions.

The 10 banks currently under investigation by the FSS are Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Hana Bank, Woori Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Kyongnam Bank, Daegu Bank, Busan Bank, Citibank Korea and Standard Chartered Korea.

According to the FSS, Governor Choi Soo-hyun has ordered that any punishments be executed by the first half of next year.

“Recently, the number of cases to be scrutinized shot up significantly, and punishments for all cases are likely to be imposed at the same time,” said an FSS official. “It will be the largest series of punishments ever.”

The number of Kookmin Bank executives and employees to be disciplined is expected to exceed 100.

The FSS also is investigating an allegation of embezzlement involving a former Kookmin Bank employee who helped steal money by opening a bank account under a false name in 2009.

Last year, a KB Kookmin Bank employee embezzled 9 billion won ($8.8 million) from the bank’s national housing bond.

The bank’s Tokyo branch also is under scrutiny by the FSS for issuing illegal loans, faking documents and falsely reporting procedures to headquarters in Seoul.

Shinhan Bank was investigated for an incident in 2010 in which its employees illegally searched for personal information of hundreds of its customers involving politicians and their family members.


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