As of end-2016, Korean financial companies were operating 407 offices in 44 countries, up 11 from a year ago. By business type, banks were running the largestscale operations on foreign soil with 178 offices, followed by financial investment firms with 112, insurers with 81, credit-specialized firms with 33 and holding companies with 3. By geography, Asia was the most favored region with 280 offices, followed by the Americas with 70, Europe with 40 and others with 17.
The number of overseas offices run by domestic financial firms has steadily been increasing, especially in Southeast Asia where banks and credit-specialized firms
are setting up their operational base to take advantage of the region’s high growth potential and rising demand for financial services associated with infrastructure
development, and to pioneer the local auto financing market.
Under this circumstance, the total assets of the overseas Korean offices at the end of 2016 reached USD 111.31 billion, up 48.3% from 2012, while the net income went up USD 164.1 million year on year to USD 657.4 million.
Geographically speaking, Asia accounted for USD 75.33 billion or 67.7% of the total in assets, and USD 550 million or 83.7% of the total in net income.
Meanwhile, the number of foreign financial companies operating in Korea was on the steady rise from 2012 to 2016 and came in at 168 from 29 countries as of end 2016, slightly up from a year ago.
By type of business, commercial banks made up the largest portion or 60, followed by 56 financial investment firms, 30 insurers, 14 credit-specialized firms and 8
savings banks. By geography, those from Europe amounted to 61, from Asia to 59, from North America to 42 and from Oceania to 6.
In fact, banks from all across Asia, including those of Chinese, Indian or Indonesian origin, are making their way into Korea to provide services in such areas as trade, corporate financing, remittance and foreign exchange.
Moreover, securities firms in China, Japan and Singapore are currently seeking to have a presence in the country as well.
At the end of 2016, the total assets of foreign financial companies in Korea increased 3.9% year on year to KRW 402.6 trillion, and the net income decreased KRW 99 billion to KRW 2,328.5 billion.
In the financial arena, foreign companies on domestic soil saw their net income rise in general from 2012 to 2015, but their overall net profits worsened in 2016 as some of them left the country and interest rates remained low.