Top Bank with Longest History

Woori Bank takes great pride in its 111-year history, the longest among Korean banks, and strives to be a top bank as well











Woori Bank celebrated its 111th anniversary on Jan. 11 in a ceremony held at Kintex in Goyang City near Seoul with 1,500 officials and staff of the bank attending. A strategy meeting was held on the sidelines of the anniversary event to set up the bank's management ideal of "A New Leap Through Internal Growth" for this year and the vision for the bank to be a top bank in Korea, the bank said recently.
In the first part of the ceremony, they recalled the bank's launching ideal that stated "Financial development is the foundation for economic development," to further solidify their resolve to fulfill their financial mission to overcome the economic crisis.
Also at the ceremony, the bank pledged its support for the preservation of King Kojong's grave, called "Hong Neung," and King Youngchin's grave, known as "Young One," who was the second head of Woori Bank's forebear bank set up in 1899 with capital provided by King Kojong.
The bank signed an agreement with the Cultural Property Office to be the No.1 Keeper of the first cultural property on the sidelines of the anniversary event.
In the second segment of the ceremony, a talent contest called "Woori Pioneer Contest" and a strategy meeting were held. President Lee Chong-whi said everyone at the bank should make an effort to achieve the bank's growth target of 7 percent in revenue this year like a tiger with a strong power for concentration, and they should seek to maximize the bank's business, moving like winds, like a forest when still and like a fire when attacking, quoting from a Chinese text known as "Wind, Forest, Fire and Mountain," or "Pung, Rim, Hwa and San." In the third session of the event, the bank announced the launch of the "Woori Plus 1" project to make Woori a top bank in the country through moves to upgrade the three major areas including service, infrastructure and manpower with the entire bank agreeing to participate.
In the evening, some 500 guests including clients and members of clubs made of Woori Bank customers were invited to an official dinner to commemorate the anniversary held at the Shilla Hotel, along with a score of dignitaries such as President Lee Kyung-sook of the Korea Scholarship Foundation; President Jeon Sang-dae of Korea Ginseng Corp.; Secretary-General Kim Young-chol of the Korea Red Cross; First Deputy Mayor Rha Jin-koo of the Seoul Metropolitan Government; Chairman Noh Jae-dong of the Seoul Ward Heads Association; and eight other ward chiefs in Seoul.
Special events at the dinner featured a ceremony to unveil the monuments built at the graves of Kings Kojong and Youngchin in recognition of their contribution to the founding of Woori Bank and a fire lighting ceremony to open a new age of another 111 years for the bank.
At the dinner, 4,165 officials and staff of the bank donated 50 million won collected from member points provided by the bank for the protective facility for the disabled, "Myungwhi Won," and decided to make rice cakes made with rice donated to the bank on the occasion of its anniversary and provide them to social welfare facilities around the country.
Woori Bank was the first bank set up in Korea with its history tracing back to 1899. Since then, the bank has been at the core of Korea's economic growth, President Lee said, true to its founding ideal to lead the development of the financial sector in Korea.
Lee said 2009 was a spectacular year, solidifying the bank's status as the only bank owned with domestic capital. He said the bank won four major awards including the Customer Satisfaction Award for four consecutive years, the Large and SME Corporation Award, and the Best Institution for Housing Welfare Business from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
The CEO said the bank will expand its overseas operations this year, too, like it has been doing for the past several years, to make a contribution to the national wealth through finance. He pledged that the bankk's 15,000 employees at home and overseas will concentrate on well-balanced sustainable quality growth in order to rise to the next level.
He said customer satisfaction, community participation and a win-win approach is the underlying theme for this year's management strategy as the bank is determined to continue to provide its customers with the highest quality service and is constantly endeavoring to become a top bank in Korea. nw

President Lee Chong-whi of Woori Bank is on the podium at a ceremony celebrating the bank's 111st anniversary at Kintex in Ilsan near Seoul on Jan. 11.

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