Despite delays, Hana Financial pushing ahead

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Despite delays, Hana Financial pushing ahead

Hana Financial Group has been moving to finalize its merger with Korea Exchange Bank, whose majority stake it bought in 2012.

The financial group had planned to submit a form for approval of the merger to the Financial Services Commission on Thursday.

Although it has been reported the FSC is likely to give a green light to the merger on Jan. 28 when it holds a regular meeting, it told the financial group to submit the approval request form next week.

It has been said in the financial industry that the FSC told Hana Financial Group management to conduct additional meetings with KEB’s labor union to iron out details involving security, wages and benefits, promotion strategy and changes in job status.

While Hana Financial Group wants to launch the newly merged financial group on March 1, a new dispute has arisen with the labor union regarding post-merger status changes for irregular workers.

On Wednesday, KEB management led by the bank’s president, Kim Han-jo, met with union representatives for negotiations that lasted for three hours, but yielded no agreement.

The one thing both sides agreed on was to meet at least three times a week to further discuss unresolved issues.

Regardless of the status of those negotiations, Hana plans to submit the approval request next week. Once the FSC gives the go-ahead, the financial group will hold a shareholders’ meeting, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 29, the day of the FSC’s next meeting.

With less than a month and a half to go to the merger, the financial group already has been cranking up its joint marketing.

Hana Bank and Korea Exchange Bank on Thursday began a joint marketing event where they will be randomly giving away free gifts including a 64 gigabyte iPad Air 2, Samsung Electronics’ mirrorless digital camera and even a coffee coupon to any client who makes a wire transfer of more than $1,000 through February.

A similar marketing event was held when Hana Financial Group late last year merged its credit card business with that of KEB. [BY LEE HO-JEONG]
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