Penalties likely for Woori Bank

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Penalties likely for Woori Bank

The Financial Supervisory Service yesterday said it has found hundreds of false-name accounts that are related to CJ Group’s slush funds at Woori Bank, and it is highly likely the bank will be punished.

The bank is expected to be issued an institutional warning, and several employees involved in the creation of the accounts are expected to face heavy punishment for violations of the real name financial transaction law.

Woori Bank management found the false-name accounts, but didn’t report them to the authority. By law, financial institutions must report large transactions.

The bank is also expected to be penalized for providing insufficient information about a new trust product related to the so-called “Pi-City project,” the construction of a logistics complex in Yangjae-dong, southern Seoul, last year.

According to an FSS official, the watchdog also found dubious transactions related to CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-hyun.

In February, Lee was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay a 26 billion won ($24.4-million) fine for massive embezzlement, tax evasion and breach of trust, incurring financial losses for the country’s 14th-largest conglomerate and signaling that courts will continue to play hardball with business moguls who break the law.

Lee also was convicted of creating slush funds worth nearly 60.3 billion won for personal use through misappropriation of company funds in a systematic and secretive way.

The FSS will hold a deliberation session on Thursday to decide on the levels of punishment for wrongdoings of financial institutions.

Including the Woori Bank employees, more than 200 workers in the financial sector are scheduled to be penalized by the watchdog for recent unethical scams and massive leaks of personal information data.

BY SONG SU-HYUN [ssh@joongang.co.kr]




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