Shinhan's Focus on Green Growth

Bank developed financial products for green energy industries to spur their growth

President Seo Jin-won of Shinhan Bank stressed green finance when he took over the helm of the bank last December, saying the bank will lead the creative concern and realization of green finance for society and the environment.
He said the bank has been engaged in the search for ways to secure professionalism in the green technology industry and has been providing support to the industry since 2005. In 2006, the bank was the first to set up a special team to take charge of providing financial support to solar plant projects and issued loans to one. In 2009, the bank launched the Green Bank Team to exclusively take charge of financing green projects and to show its management plan, which includes financing various futuristic industries related to green technology under its so called New Start Agenda.
CEO Seo said the bank will continue to run the existing marketing plan for new and recycled energy financing and green industry support.
The bank, in fact, has been attracting many borrowers for its green financial products. In 2008, the bank launched a financial product called Hope Energy Installment Savings with higher interest rates paid if depositors promise that they will curb their energy consumption. Other financial products include the Shinhan Solar Power Loan for solar power plant projects and the Shinhan Green Growth Loan to help the green industry.
Seo said the bank has also been providing special favors including the exemption of fees and loans with favorable interest rates to green energy, LED and second-generation battery manufacturing firms.
The bank has also been providing non-financial services such as consultations on management and finance to its clients. The bank also replaced its lighting fixtures with LED lights, which turn on and off automatically at sunrise and sunset to save energy. In the meantime, Shinhan Financial Group (SFG) is considering taking over at least one financial company in the stock brokerage and insurance market in the coming months or years. Chairman Han Dong-woo, who took office 100 days ago, unveiled the group's future strategies including the M&A project during a news conference in Seoul on Thursday.
It is necessary for us to seek opportunities to expand the scale of our securities and insurance sector, which have been in a weaker position compared to the banking and credit card businesses, he told reporters.
He said the group's banking and credit card sectors have secured competitiveness thanks to M&As. Over the past few years, Shinhan Bank merged with Chohung Bank, while Shinhan Card has been enjoying the No. 1 position in the credit card market by acquiring LG Card.
Han also reiterated that the group will continue to find niches in overseas markets. advancing into foreign markets is an inevitable choice. Shinhan Financial has pushed to become a global player based on the Asian region, he said. Performances are being realized in countries such as Japan and Vietnam. Evaluating its credit card business in Vietnam as a success, he said the group will take the initiative in upgrading Korea's financial industry by steadily enhancing schemes for globalization.
He also commented on ways to prevent group executives from engaging in irregularities.
By eliminating the system in which the group chairman could make arbitrary decisions and by adopting the structure combining a variety of views, we will map out key policies in a reasonable manner, he said.Future Shinhan CEOs will be selected after their morality and ages are screened. In particular, Han said, the group plans to restrict the maximum age to become a Shinhan unit CEO. Incorporated on Sept. 1, 2001, Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. is Korea's first financial holding company that delivers comprehensive financial solutions through a powerful One-Portal network. Shinhan's goal is to make continual improvements in its One-Portal network to meet all of its customers'financial needs and to secure SFG's position as the leading financial service group in Asia. SFG's subsidiaries offer quality financial products and services in commercial banking, corporate banking, credit card, private banking, asset management, investment banking, brokerage and insurance services. SFG serves more than 10 million active customers with 15,000 employees and 970 network branches nationwide. The company has 21 offices in nine countries, including the United States, the U.K., Japan, China, Germany, India, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. Currently, Shinhan Financial Group is listed on both the Korea Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. nw

President Seo Jin-won of Shinhan Bank.

Photo on Courtesy of Shinhan

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