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Korea kick-starts ‘innovative finance’ body, pledging W225tr in investment

South Korea’s special task force for “innovative finance” kicked off its first meeting Tuesday, with the participating government ministries and finance corporations pledging some 225 trillion won ($194 billion) in total investment and loan financing.

The collaborative task force is being led by the chief of the Financial Services Commission, the country’s top financial regulator, with participation by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Justice and the Financial Supervisory Service.
Joining the body from the business sector are Korea’s five major financial groups -- Shinhan Financial, KB Financial, Hana Financial, Woori Financial and NH Financial – as well as the Korea Development Bank and the Industrial Bank of Korea.

The special task force was founded after President Moon Jae-in called last month for the formation of a joint body involving both the public and private sectors to boost finance innovation.

Over the next three years, the banking sector pledged to inject 90 trillion won in technology financing loans, 6 trillion won in mortgage loans and 4 trillion won toward revenue-based financing loans.

It will also provide 100 billion won to the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and the Korea Technology Finance Corporation over two years, ultimately offering 1.4 trillion won in funding to social impact companies.

The banking industry also plans to invest 345 billion won in, a Seoul-based startup co-working space operated by the Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, until next year.

Meanwhile, the financial investment sector has projected 125 trillion won in total investments in the coming years.

This includes an annual investment of around 21 trillion won over the next five years, initial public offerings worth 6 trillion won on the Kosdaq, 10 trillion won worth of corporate financing activities by the investment banking sector and 4 trillion won worth of specialized investment in unlisted firms.

“This innovation finance vision requires regulatory improvements across loans, capital markets and policy finance as well as changes in market practices in product development and sales. And as such, public-private cooperation is a pivotal factor,” said FSC chief Choi Jong-ku.

“Now is an important time for a shift to innovative finance, considering the fundamental structural changes in the economy, internal and external economic conditions, as well as the current capital flow in the market.”

By Sohn Ji-young (