“It’s not even an IMF crisis…” Bankers crying in the wind of coronavirus

In 1998, when numerous elite bankers poured into the streets, “honorary retirement” was considered taboo for some time after the IMF foreign exchange crisis. The’honor’ before retirement was only a faded modifier, and it was nothing more or less than that, the’lonely exit’ of the expelled. The non-face-to-face transaction triggered by Corona 19 this year is causing a sad breeze in banknotes. As non-face-to-face transactions increased, the number of store visitors plummeted. This year alone, 250 commercial bank stores were closed. If it was an old-school curriculum taken out of the inevitable situation in the past, it tends to become regular these days.

◆’Reduction’ blown on banknotes = Following the Nonghyup, SC Cheil, Busan, and Gyeongnam Banks, Woori Bank also initiated an honorary retirement procedure. Other commercial banks, such as KB Kookmin, Shinhan Bank, and Hana Bank, are also planning to move on to the end of the year or January of next year.

Woori Bank is applying for withdrawal from those aged 54 (born in 1966) or older. The condition is to pay 36 months’ salary at a time and pay up to 28 million won per person for up to two children, 33 million won for reemployment support, and 3 million won for travel vouchers. In addition, the 55-year-old (born in 1965) who entered the wage peak system is also receiving an application for withdrawal on the condition of paying 24 months’ worth of wages.

Nonghyup Bank completed the drop-off work on the 26th and 30th of last month. It was decided to pay 28 months’ worth of wages (based on the wage-peak system) to those who are 56 years of age or older, and provide support for job changes (40 million won) and agricultural product vouchers (10 million won). 503 people flocked, an increase of 147 people from last year’s applicants (356).

SC Cheil Bank received a special retirement application that paid up to 38 months’ wages according to the position until the 2nd, and provided up to 20 million won for school expenses for children and 20 million won for startup support. Eligible candidates are employees aged 55 or older (born before 1965) who have worked for 10 years or more among all positions under executive assistant.

The Busan-Kyungnam Bank plans to provide up to 40 months’ worth of wages as condolence money for those aged 50 or older. In addition, Kyongnam Bank also accepts requests for withdrawal from young employees below the agency salary on the condition of paying 37 months’ worth of wages.

An official from the banking sector said, “As the speed of digital transformation with Corona 19 is accelerating, the work of slimming the organization is accelerating.” Another official predicted, “From the end of last year to the beginning of this year, about 1,700 people applied for hopeful retirement. From the end of this year to the beginning of next year, there are more non-face-to-face transactions, and the speed of branch consolidation and closure of banks will also increase, resulting in a larger dropout.

◆ `Closing 5 stores a week` Bankers who have lost their place to go = Banks accelerating digital transformation with Corona 19 are significantly reducing the number of stores. The reduction in the number of stores leads to a decrease in the number of customers.

According to the Financial Supervisory Service, as of the first half of this year, four commercial banks of Kookmin, Shinhan, Hana, and Woori Banks and 104 branches of Busan, Gyeongnam, Daegu, Gwangju, Jeonbuk, and Jeju were closed. Accordingly, the number of bank branches decreased from 4460 at the end of last year to 4356 in the first half of this year. The FSS estimates that an additional 146 stores will be closed in the second half of this year. This means that 250 stores could disappear this year alone, meaning that 5 stores could disappear in a week. Compared to the decrease of 41 branches and branch offices in 2019 and 38 in 2018, the rate of increase is steep. In particular, this year, as non-face-to-face demand increased significantly due to Corona and the number of visits to branches decreased, the scale of store closures was expanded.

An official from the financial sector said, “As digital transformation is an inevitable option, each bank is deeply concerned about which region stores will be organized and merged,” he said. “A series of changes are not temporary phenomena, but the beginning of a huge paradigm shift.” .

Some say, “I want to cry,” and some say, “(The company) gives you a large amount of consolation money and re-employment education. What’s the problem?” However, most of those who have poured out from the beginning of the year to the end of the year are defenseless in their second life. This is because, in a situation where re-employment is difficult due to the old age, startups are also not easy due to the economic downturn and the minimum wage increase. It is also explained that even if a re-employment program is operated for those with a dismissal, it is entirely up to individuals to find the means of economic activity after retirement.

Mr. K, who goes to Bank A, said, “I survived the global financial crisis in 2008, but I don’t have the skills to withstand in front of the digital transformation. I was given a three-year salary as a consolation fund, but if I missed the opportunity, I couldn’t get it, so I thought about several times.” “However, famous franchises are already saturated, so it is difficult to open new stores, and there are dozens of people waiting for stores occasionally in new cities,” he said. He confessed, “It is possible to start the’Heulbojap’ franchise right away, but it has not been verified.

Inside and outside of the financial sector, they agree that efforts by financial companies and the government are needed to utilize bankers with expertise.

An industry official said, “The rate of reemployment for financial retirees is extremely low. With digital financialization, banks will sharply reduce their size. This is a serious problem not only personally but also socially,” said an industry official. “Measures for using middle-aged retirees are as important as youth jobs. We must provide a way to utilize financial knowledge for society,” he stressed.

[류영상 기자 [email protected]]
[ⓒ 매일경제 & mk.co.kr, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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