Focus on Risk Control, Cutting Bad Assets

Woori Bank celebrates 113th anniversary as Woori Financial Group sets eyes on non-banking sector growth

To advance the mid- to long-term vision to be among the global top 50 and the Asian top 10 players, Woori Financial Group (WFG) set its 2012 management target on building up business infra for the maximization of the Group's value. Key management strategies were also established as follows: reinforcement of WFG's competitiveness; optimized risk management; expansion of profit sources; preparation of leadership in non-banking sector; acceleration of global businesses; and strategic CSR management.
On Dec. 16 last year, WFG held a meeting for the 2012 management strategy and the OneDo festival with more than 1,000 employees including CEOs and executives of all subsidiaries in attendance.
Chairman Lee Pal-seung stressed, "We will focus on minimizing NPLs by completing our group-based asset-cleaning project and strengthening our competitiveness in non-banking businesses to consolidate our leadership next year. In addition, the OneDo innovation activities will be the first priority for our management in the coming year, which will make us the most competitive financial organization."
The OneDo innovation has been promoted since 2010 in order to transform WFG into a competitive organization with low-costs and high-efficiency that can get through any difficulty. Through the innovation, a lot of unnecessary waste, habitual practices, and regulations have been eliminated. If it was necessary, the Group did not mind benchmarking competitors.
By doing so, a total of 126,766 innovation ideas (6.3 ideas per employee) have been presented by individuals, of which 7,571 items have been practiced for the past two years. These efforts have generated approximately 500 billion won worth of financial performances.
At the event, excellent business units and employees in the OneDo innovation program received awards. The grand prize was awarded to Woori Bank's strategic planning division, which generated 10.3 billion won worth of financial effects and improved customer satisfaction by reforming the system and process for the rollover of private loans.
Woori Bank celebrated its 113th anniversary on Jan. 4 in the auditorium at the bank's head office in Hoehyun-dong, Seoul, with some 550 bank officers and staff and customers attending, including a number of multicultural families in Korea, foreign customers, and customers who recovered their financial health due to the loans they received from Miso Finance Co., a financial facility set up by Woori Bank to support small companies with financial problems.
President Lee Soon-woo of Woori Bank will focus his management strategy for the bank this year on improving the health of assets to augment the bank's shortcoming, which has been its high loan loss provision for the past number of years resulting in a cut in profits.
He is fully aware that the financial environment would not be good due to the global economic slowdown caused by the European debt crisis, thus all kinds of risks should be handled through preemptive measures.
Lee said the bank has been cutting its non-performing assets steadily over the past couple of years and some 2.5 trillion won worth of bad assets were either sold or written off to reduce the NPL ratio to 1.94 percent at the end of last year. The bank plans to further reduce its bad loans by 1 trillion to 2 trillion won further this year to bring the NPL ratio down to the 1 percent range.
But, he said, the bank will continue to build sound assets by about 7 percent.
The CEO said the bank will be conservative in its management, but at the same time will be flexible and take chances when required. nw

President Lee Soon-woo of Woori Bank.

President Lee Soon-woo, 5th L, stands with the officers and staff who won the awards for their meritorious achievements working for Woori Bank during the 113th anniversary ceremony of the bank's foundation on Jan. 4.

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