Woori Bank raided over dubious hiring scandal

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Woori Bank raided over dubious hiring scandal

Prosecutors raided the main office of Woori Bank in central Seoul on Tuesday to look into an alleged hiring scandal that led to the head of the bank resigning.

Seoul’s Northern District Prosecutors’ Office carried out a search and seizure operation starting around 9 a.m., dispatching more than 10 investigative officials to the bank, which is accused of offering jobs to applicants with ties to high ranking government officials.

The main locations searched included the CEO’s office and the office of the human resources division.

The raid came five days after Lee Kwang-goo, CEO of Woori Bank, resigned to take responsibility for the dubious hiring practices.

In 2016, the bank allegedly employed sixteen sons, daughters and other relatives of high-ranking officials at the Financial Supervisory Service, the country’s financial watchdog, and the National Intelligence Service. Some of the recruits were people linked with VIP clients of Woori Bank.

Lee is handling limited tasks until a new CEO is appointed while Sohn Tae-seung, executive vice president, is serving as acting president.

The scandal surfaced during a routine legislative audit last month.

Sim Sang-Jeong of the progressive Justice Party said that the bank made its employment decisions based on requests from outside figures.

Following the accusation, the Financial Supervisory Service referred the case to the prosecution.

The bank dismissed three executives allegedly linked to the hiring decisions.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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