Agricultural Minister Kim Jae-soo borrowed money from a local bank run by the farmers’ cooperative at an unusually low interest rate, a lawmaker revealed Wednesday.
According to Rep. Wi Seong-gon of The Minjoo Party of Korea, the minister’s mortgage from Nonghyup Bank carries an interest rate of 1.42 percent, which is sixth-lowest among the bank’s entire 800,000 mortgages. The ten receiving the lowest interest rates had been given a rate range of 1.28 percent to 1.49 percent.
Kim received a mortgage loan in June 2014 when he was CEO of Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corp. As of August, the outstanding balance stands at 320 million won ($287,400).
Agricultural Minister Kim Jae-soo(Yonhap)
He also borrowed 140 million won in personal credit loans from the bank, run by the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, in the same period, at an interest rate of under 1.82 percent. That marked the 28th lowest rate among the 1.06 million such loans.
Rep. Wi alleged the minister may have received preferential treatment due to his position. Opposition lawmakers last month rammed through the National Assembly a motion to dismiss him, but President Park Geun-hye vetoed the measure.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)