[Sponsored Report] Shinhan makes banking easier for global clients

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[Sponsored Report] Shinhan makes banking easier for global clients

The number of foreigners planning to stay in Korea for the foreseeable future has grown to nearly two million, and in response, Shinhan Bank has created global banking services for those foreign companies and individuals who call Korea home.

In August 2011, Shinhan Bank organized a separate unit specializing in foreign clients and investment companies. Its main job is to devise services and products adapted to these clients, such as foreign direct investment support.

For foreign investment companies, 80 of Shinhan Bank’s branches provide services that take the hassle out of putting down roots in Korea.

For personal clients, Shinhan has installed “Foreign Customer Desks” at 40 branches located in districts frequented by foreigners. The employees who work at these booths speak multiple languages and have expertise in the finance field.

As a result of these efforts, Shinhan Bank has been seeing impressive results. Last September, the number of newly registered foreign-invested companies increased over 200 percent year on year, and its market share rose to 20 percent from last year’s 8 percent.

In its first five years of offering services tailored to foreigners, Shinhan Bank has been constantly making improvements in its system to provide a favorable banking environment to its customers. The range of languages supported started off with English and Korean at first, and have now expanded to include Chinese and Japanese.

On Tehran Boulevard, a popular site for foreign investment banks leading from Samseong Station to Seocho Station, Shinhan has installed seven foreign direct investment centers. This year, more centers have opened in Songdo, Jeju, Busan and Seosomun-dong, Sogong-dong and Gangnam District in Seoul, with 14 in total.

Shinhan Bank also decided to place foreign employees in these centers and provide presentations in various languages containing information about the differences in countries’ retirement pension plans and foreign exchange trading.

As the flow of Chinese capital into the country is rising, Shinhan is also enhancing its expertise in China-related investment consultation. The bank’s Chinese employees have work experience in major Chinese banks, and some are even certified lawyers in China.

Along these lines, Shinhan has forged ties with a major Chinese law firm and established a consultation channel for Korean companies who wish to expand into China and vice versa.

For foreign clients of Shinhan Bank who are traveling abroad, Shinhan opened “Korea Desks” in 77 branches across 16 countries including Japan, China, the United States and Vietnam. Meanwhile in Korea, Shinhan has started a new service that connects foreign direct investment specialists with clients for in-person consultations.

For foreigners who don’t speak a language currently offered at the centers, Shinhan Bank offers ATMs that support various Southeast Asian languages. Capable of processing overseas remittance, the ATMs offer services in eight languages, with more planned for the future based on clients’ needs.

Shinhan is also a leader in foreigner-friendly Internet banking with its Glo-net service, which supports nine different languages. The bank also offers an additional service, ezPlus, specifically designed for Apple computers. Responding to the demand for smartphone banking services, Shinhan Bank released its own service for foreigners. Currently offered only in English, the company will soon add support for Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese.

For foreigners who find it difficult to use the certificates required for online transactions in Korea, Shinhan Bank provides a service that enables overseas transactions via phone after clients register certain pieces of information at an offline branch. Offered in seven languages, the service is gaining popularity among foreign workers who live far from bank branches.

To detect other places that need adjustments, Shinhan has created a task force to analyze existing processes and offer recommendations for making them better.

In the future, Shinhan Bank plans to establish special branches that focus on currency exchange and overseas transfers, support more languages in call centers for foreigners and employ more foreign telemarketers.

“Enhancing the number and quality of banking services for foreigners is our ultimate goal” said a spokesman of Shinhan Bank. “We see developing specialized employees as our next goal.”

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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