Struggling banks to boost hiring

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Struggling banks to boost hiring

In a decision that caught many by surprise, commercial banks coping with shrinking profit margins due to record low interest rates have decided to expand their work forces this year at the request of Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan, according to the industry.

Shinhan Bank will hire 1,000 more entry-level employees, nearly double last year’s total. The bank plans to employ 350 college graduates, up from 272 last year, 70 high school graduates, 80 people with physical handicaps and 280 women who stopped working to raise children.

As many as 220 retirees will be rehired for part-time posts that will be newly introduced this year for retired assistant branch managers. They will work two hours a day and be in charge of overseeing branch auditing and preventing accidents.

Kookmin Bank will hire 1,100 new employees, more than double last year. Entry-level positions and those for college graduates will be expanded from 290 to 400. An official recruitment announcement will be made in April. In addition, the bank will hire 100 high school graduates, 300 women with children and 300 interns.

Industrial Bank of Korea decided to increase its new hires from 220 people last year to 400 this year. The bank will accept applications for entry-level positions through April 2. How many college graduates the bank will hire has not been decided. In the first half of the year, the state-run bank will bring in 250 high school graduates.

Hana Financial Group will determine its employment plan for this year after the merger of Hana Bank and Korea Exchange Bank, a process has been slowed by strong opposition from the labor union.

The banks’ decisions were influenced by Choi’s request, according to executives of the banks.

The finance minister met with Yim Jong-yong, chairman of the Financial Services Commission; Zhin Woong-seob, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service; Ha Yung-ku, chairman of the Korea Federation of Banks; and Hwang Young-key, chairman of the Korea Financial Investment Association on March 15. He urged them to create more jobs in the financial sector.

“The financial industry has been unable to provide jobs for youth,” said Choi. “Let’s work together to make it happen.”

BY PARK JIN-SEOK, SHIM SAE-ROM [song.suhyun@joongang.co.kr]

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