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South Koreas' financial groups suspended over data theft

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Staff writer ▼ | February 17, 2014
South Korea's financial regulator suspended some operations of three credit-card issuers for three months as a result of the theft of data of as many as 104 million cards.
South Korea money
South Korea moneySouth Korea's financial regulator suspended some operations of three credit-card issuers for three months as a result of the theft of data of as many as 104 million cards.


KB Financial Group, NongHyup Financial Group and retailer Lotte Group have been banned from issuing new credit and debit cards or extending loans until May 16, the Financial Services Commission said Sunday. All three will try to minimize inconvenience to customers, they said.

The stolen information includes that for cards held by companies and in the names of the deceased. The average South Korean carries four credit cards and uses them for even the smallest purchases. Their use was encouraged by the government because it is difficult for businesses to hide transactions from tax authorities. It also helps boost domestic consumption. South Korea's population is 50 million.

Exiting cardholders use is unaffected. Many of those affected have canceled cards or applied for new ones.

The commission may seek punishment for company executives involved following the completion of investigations, it said. It may also seek to double company suspensions to six months for future cases.


 

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