Korean bank targets wealthy expats

South Korea-based Shinhan Bank is targeting high-income expats living in Seoul, with the opening of a new financial services centre in the city, the English language Korea Times has reported.

The new service, called the Shinhan International Finance Center, will open for business on Friday, and will be manned by five private bankers, according to the report.

“Foreign lawyers and other professionals are increasingly expected to come to Korea due to free trade agreements with the US and EU in the coming years, so we see an emerging demand from those high-income earners for financial services by local banks,” The Korea Times quoted a Shinhan Bank official as saying.

The official went on: “As the exclusive asset management services for foreigners have yet to make a presence in the domestic financial market, Shinhan will operate the Shinhan IFC in the form of a task force for the time being.”

The Korea Times article noted that currently, most high-end expats use the services of such global banks as Citi and Standard Chartered, rather than local Korean banks.

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James Fernyhough
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