Public financial firms pay workers big bucks

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Public financial firms pay workers big bucks

South Korea’s state-run financial firms jacked up their annual salaries at twice the pace of other public corporations last year, data showed Monday.

The average yearly income of employees at seven state-owned financial companies came to 93.09 million won ($86,700) in 2017, up 2.3 percent from the previous year, according to data from ALIO, a state website that releases public information.

Their annual salary is 38.8 percent larger than that for all 361 state-run public firms in the country, which rose by 1.5 percent on-year and stood at 67.07 million won on average in 2017, the data showed.

Of the financial institutions, the Korea Development Bank (KDB) raised annual salaries by 6.1 percent last year, bringing the average up to 100.18 million won per person. The Industrial Bank of Korea raised salaries by 5.0 percent, giving their employees an average of 98.86 million won last year, the data showed.

The entry-level salary for the seven financial firms stood at 43.76 million won last year, 26.7 percent more than the average for all the state-run companies, according to the data.

In response to simmering criticism for their lax management and the government’s tightened regulations, the financial firms lowered their annual payment by 0.25 percent on-year to 84.87 million won in 2014. It was the first cut since 2010, when the data was first compiled.

But they soon shifted their course to raise yearly salaries 9.7 percent on average since then, compared to a 5.5 percent rise by general state-run companies over the past three years, according to the latest findings.

The public financial firms affiliated with the Financial Services Commission, the country’s top financial regulator, have often been called “the workplace for the gods,” for their good pay and excellent job security.

Meanwhile, there is a yawning gap in the salaries between male and female workers at those public financial entities. Male employees received an average of 98.04 million won in 2017, receiving 44.56 percent more than their female counterparts, whose income came to 67.82 million won, according to the ALIO data.

The so-called glass ceiling for women is seen as affecting the income gap.

In the case of the KDB, not a single woman held one of the 110 top-level managerial positions. For the second-tier positions, the firm had 364 male workers and eight women, according to the data.

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