FSC unveils host of new fintech services

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FSC unveils host of new fintech services


President Park Geun-hye, third from left, speaks before the second joint report on major policies for 2016 by six government agencies, including the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy; the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning; and the Financial Services Commission (FSC), at the Blue House on Monday. [NEWSIS]

Account Info, an integrated electronic system to manage an individual’s different bank accounts, including inactive accounts, will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, the nation’s top financial regulator said in its second report to President Park Geun-hye on Monday.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) briefed the president on its annual plans to carry out innovative reforms in the financial sector under the theme of fintech, a term combining finance and technology.

The regulatory agency presented an introduction to Account Info, in which consumers will be able to find information about outdated or dormant bank accounts that they have forgotten.

The FSC said Koreans have 5.4 bank accounts on average, the second-highest in the world after Japan.

Across all banks in the country, as many as 107 million accounts, or about 49 percent, are dormant, making banking statistics inaccurate.

As of March 2015, a total of 5.5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) was still being deposited in such unused accounts, about 150,000 won per adult.

On Account Info, consumers will be able to check information such as the account numbers, banking institutions, amount of deposit and last day of transactions in their accounts.

If they find deposits in old accounts, they can transfer the money to active ones in use without visiting bank branches.

Users can also cancel dormant accounts they no longer want by logging in to the system.

The FSC estimates that there are about 37 million inactive accounts with no money in them.

The regulatory agency also reported its plan to introduce Robo Adviser, an online service where consumers can receive consultation on wealth management via a computer program or mobile app.

“It can take the form of a smartphone application,” said Kim Yong-beom, the secretary general of the FSC.

New web-based banks led by Kakao and KT have announced their plans to provide the Robo Adviser service when they start operations in the latter half of this year.

The plan requires easing the current Investment Advisers Act to allow asset management advisers to sign online contracts with their clients without meeting in person.

If the act is revised, online asset management firms can have just one adviser to provide such a service. Currently, those firms must have at least three advisers for operations.

To support President Park’s signature creative economy initiative, the financial regulator will also manage a 20 billion won crowd fund, where start-ups can attract investors via social networking services.

State-run banks and credit institutions will finance up to 80 trillion won to issue loans for start-ups in the ICT, culture and content creation industries.

“The FSC will strengthen its funding function for a creative economy in an innovative manner,” the commission said in a statement.

“While raising fintech as a new profitable business, the authority will help supply new, innovative financial products and services.”

BY SONG SU-HYUN [song.suhyun@joongang.co.kr]
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