New group for financial data

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New group for financial data


FSC Chairman Yim Jong-yong, fifth from right, and others celebrate the launch of the Korea Credit Information Services at the Korean Federation of Banks. [NEWSIS]

A new organization has been launched to manage information on customers of financial institutions to prevent a repeat of leaks in early 2014 of personal data in as many as 100 million financial transactions.

The Korea Credit Information Services opened on Jan. 1 and is a collaboration among six financial institutions: the Korean Federation of Banks, Korea Financial Investment Association, Korea Life Insurance Association, General Insurance Association of Korea, Credit Finance Association of Korea and Korea Insurance Development Institute.

No other country has an agency that manages personal information of consumers across financial institutions.

Based on Korea’s Use and Protection of Credit Information Act, the agency has combined the credit information management of the six institutions.

For more than a year, personal information was leaked due to mismanagement by three major credit card companies - Lotte Card, KB Kookmin Card and Nonghyup Card. The leaks were discovered in early 2014.

According to the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the new institution will secure the data but also provide easier access to big data of consumer information for fintech start-ups to develop products. The agency will also offer financial institutions a consolidated system for credit assessment. Financial institutions will see improvements in accuracy of credit ratings, which could help reduce financial fraud, the regulator said.

FSC Chairman Yim Jong-yong lauded the importance of information security in financial transactions at a ceremony to mark the launch of the agency.

“Information protection will be the most important mission,” Yim said at the ceremony in central Seoul on Tuesday. “Protection of credit information will be enhanced in the country.”

“The agency has prepared stronger internal controls on managing financial information and has come up with a safer information security system,” the chairman added.

Min Sung-kee, a former executive at the Korean Federation of Banks and the Bank of Korea, will chair the new agency. It will have a total of 119 employees.


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