FSC to make minutes public from next year

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FSC to make minutes public from next year

The public will gain access to the minutes of important policy meetings at the country’s top financial regulator starting next year.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) will release the records from its most important policy meetings as doubts mount over some of its major decisions. Presently, the regulator is not required to reveal the minutes from its meetings, except when some demands arise.

The new rule requires the FSC to reveal the minutes from policy-making meetings except for exceptional cases proposed by the regulator. Some meetings can remain confidential for one to three years when discussions address topics related to corporate confidential information, ongoing court rulings or a certain individual’s privacy. The period of confidentiality can be extended.

In the minutes, the FSC will include the meeting’s agendas, participants, content of discussions, opening and closing times and the result of the gathering.

But the record won’t be as specific as that of the central bank, where a transcript is published. The FSC said the move is intended to enhance the transparency and reliability of the agency. The agency came under scrutiny after making several controversial decisions. Among them is the approval of K bank, the country’s first internet only bank.

In a routine legislative audit, the FSC was accused of pushing ahead the approval despite doubts from the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Service.

The point of contention lies in a law that requires the main shareholder of an internet bank to have a BIS capital ratio above the market average. Woori Bank’s ratio during the second quarter of 2015 was reportedly 14.01 percent, while the average for Korean banks that quarter was 14.08 percent.

The FSC denied the allegation, saying that no special favor was given to the company.

The FSC’s decision to finance the troubled Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering has also been called into question.

The FSC created a total of 17,460 documents last year, but only 13 percent, or 2,344 of them, were made public.

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