President Moon Jae-in on Monday urged South Korean banks to ensure that the government’s financial measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are executed as smoothly as possible.
Speaking at a meeting with heads of major private and state-run financial institutions, Moon stressed the importance of the financial sector’s role in shoring up the economy against the impact of the pandemic.
“The finance (sector) is like the medical staff on the frontlines of quarantine. Just as the dedication of the medical staff can save patients, proactive finance can save corporations and small merchants,” Moon said.
Attendants of the meeting included the heads of Korea Development Bank, Korea Exim Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, as well as private sector leaders including the chiefs of the Shinhan, KB and Hana financial groups.
Moon went on to thank the finance sector leaders in enabling emergency financial measures amounting to 100 trillion won ($81.3 billion) to be drawn up, Moon requested their continued cooperation.
“The responses have been drawn up, but it is also important (for the measures) to be implemented at the right time and place. As small merchants and self-employed still have difficulties in getting loans, I urge you to pay particular attention to these areas.”
Saying that larger corporations are also in need of liquidity, Moon said protecting local companies was essential to softening the blow on the economy.
“Mistakes can occur in the process, and if there was no intent, then the government and the financial authorities will not hold individuals or institutions responsible,” Moon said.
He added that additional measures could be needed depending on how the situation unfolds, and requested the financial industry’s continued support in the measures.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com