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Financial firm workers embezzled W170b over 6 years: lawmaker

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Aug. 29, 2022 - 16:02

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Executives from financial firms were reaping astronomical salaries and bonuses amid increasing embezzlement, a lawmaker said Monday, quoting data.

Data submitted by the Financial Supervisory Service to Rep. Yang Jung-suk showed that a total of 327 embezzlement cases worth a total of 170 billion won ($126 million) had occurred at 78 financial firms from 2017 to August this year.

According to the data, the amount of damage caused by embezzlements in the financial sector was increasing every year.

It showed that the total amount of embezzlement had steadily increased from 13.1 billion won in 2019 to 17.7 billion won in 2020. It increased again to 26.1 billion won last year.

A whopping 87.6 billion won worth of embezzlement was recorded from this January to August, largely due to Woori Bank’s massive embezzlement case worth 61 billion won in May.

Data showed banks had been embezzled from the most, recording 89.4 billion won’s worth of embezzlement.

The amount of damages was followed by 25 billion won’s worth of embezzlement from mutual finance businesses, 16.7 billion won from asset management brands and 14.9 billion won from savings banks.

However, the executives of financial firms which had been embezzled from had received salaries and bonuses amounting to 64.2 billion won over the past six years.

“The repetitive occurrence of embezzlement accidents every year in the same financial firms is proof that measures to prevent recurrences have not been prepared,” said Rep. Yang. “The fact that executives directly responsible for the embezzlements took high salaries clearly demonstrates the financial firms’ chronic moral hazard,” she added.

In response to such a situation, the Financial Services Commission and the FSS set up a new task force in August, which aims to eradicate repeated embezzlement in the financial sector by toughening internal oversight.