IBK devoting team to help customers burned by DLI

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IBK devoting team to help customers burned by DLI

Industrial Bank of Korea CEO Yoon Jong-won said Sunday the state-owned bank may form a separate team to take care of its clients unable to withdraw their money from a problematic fund designed by Discovery Asset Management.

“Industrial Bank of Korea has visited the asset management company multiple times to get a hold on how many payments have been deferred and the possibility of additional damage,” said Yoon in a press release.

Yoon released the online statement Sunday instead of the originally-scheduled press conference to comply with the government’s social distancing campaign.

“We are also looking into forming a separate team that is dedicated to handling issues that are related to investment items,” Yoon said.

Discovery Asset Management had sold 180 billion won ($148 million) worth of the problematic fund in Korea. The investment money was transferred to a U.S.-based asset management company, Direct Lending Investments, or DLI.

Direct Lending Investments’ assets have been frozen, however, since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against the company last year for allegedly inflating its assets and returns. As a result, Discovery Asset Management suspended all withdrawals from its funds as well.

The Industrial Bank of Korea had sold 69.5 billion won worth of the problematic fund to about 200 customers who are claiming the bank failed to inform them of the potential risks.

Discovery Asset Management was founded in November 2016 and started selling funds the next year.

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

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