Foreign Banks' Korean Exodus

(Picture: Shutterstock)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

The eurozone’s largest bank by market value will close its office in Seoul before the end of the year and some of its employees will be dispatched to Hong Kong.

Spanish lender Banco Santander will shut its Korean operations after seven years, joining foreign banks’ exodus from Korean market in a bid to slash costs through global restructuring, the «Korea Herald» reports.

Launched in 2009, the Seoul office has been serving as a liaison between Korean corporates and official institutions and Grupo Santander’s global network.

Losing Steam

The move comes as other foreign financial firms, including Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, closed their offices or reduced operations as the country’s financial industry is losing steam.

The bank’s decision to withdraw from Korea may give second thoughts to other foreign firms operating there. Currently, a total of 18 foreign lenders have their liaison offices in the country for market research and network purposes.

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