Hana files application for a merger with KEB

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Hana files application for a merger with KEB

Hana Financial Group finally filed an application for a merger with Korea Exchange Bank to the Financial Services Commission on Monday.

It has been almost six months since the group announced a plan for early integration of the two financial institutions.

“The group submitted the application form at around 2 p.m.,” an FSC official confirmed. “After reviewing legal terms, it will be passed onto the Financial Supervisory Service.”

Hana Financial Group reported details of the merger to the financial authority, which has refrained from giving the green light to the alliance so far as it was worried about issues involving the labor unions of both institutions.

The FSC had told Hana’s management to conduct additional meetings with KEB’s labor union to iron out details involving security, wages, benefits, promotion strategies and changes in job status.

Once the FSC gives the go ahead, the financial group is expected to hold a shareholders meeting tentatively scheduled for Jan. 29, a day after the FSC’s regular meeting.

The FSC’s final approval will be announced within 60 days.

“Our initial plan was to carry out the merger by March 1,” an official at Hana said. “Since the schedule is tight, we will proceed with the rest of the procedures as fast as possible.”

It is highly likely that Hana will keep its name in the merged institution, according to the group.

“But the merger committee is still considering a measure to keep KEB, because it has a high profile in overseas markets,” the official said.

The first chairman of the integrated institution is likely to be Kim Han-jo, KEB’s current president.

The bank’s labor union expressed strong opposition to the application. It argues that submitting it before the labor union and management reaches an agreement is a violation.

Labor and management talks are expected to continue.

BY SONG SU-HYUN, SHIM SAE-ROM [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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