FSC works on technicalities of remote working

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FSC works on technicalities of remote working

People working in finance in Korea will be allowed to work from home as fears over the coronavirus outbreak grow.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) on Wednesday told financial institutions including brokerages and banks to allow their employees to work at home to counter the Covid-19 (official name for the coronavirus) outbreak.

“The Financial Services Commission preemptively took action on Korea’s financial institutions to allow their employees to work at home in order to continue to provide financial services under any condition,” Korea’s top financial watchdog said in a release.

Financial institutions in Korea use separate networks for security reasons, and employees can only access internal networks from within their offices in normal times.

In times of emergency, the companies have allowed people working for central computing centers to log in remotely. But ordinary employees have not been allowed in the past.

Citibank was one of the first banks to ask about allowing employees to work at home.

“We are allowing ordinary employees to work from home with remote access to the company’s system by sending a notification to the Korea Financial Investment Association and Citibank,” the FSC said.

“Based on this notification, we will allow other financial companies to handle the situation flexibly.”

Local financial companies are coming up with diverse methods to keep their key work forces functioning but safe from the virus.

Citibank is reviewing locations that can substitute for its current offices.

KB Kookmin Bank operates two separate computer centers in Gimpo and Yeouido. If one gets shut down because a worker is infected, the other can do its work.

“In case we have infected employees in both centers, we are planning to set up a team that works at home,” a spokesman for KB Kookmin Bank said.

Internet-only bank Kakao Bank has dispatched some key workforce from its Pangyo office to its Seoul offices, which mostly focus on customer service, in case there are any problems in Pangyo.

The FSC addressed security problems that could emerge from processing finance data at home.

“Through internal control systems at each institution, we made sure that people working from home implement a virtual private network (VPN) to prevent data breaches and hacking issues,” the FSC said.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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