[THE INVESTOR] The financial regulator said on Sept. 21 it will give preliminary approval next year for two groups to launch internet-only banks, as the government aims to reinvigorate the banking industry.
Choi Jong-ku, chairman of the Financial Services Commission, made the remarks a day after the National Assembly passed a bill that allows non-financial firms to boost their stake in internet-only banks beyond the 4 percent ownership ceiling. Two internet-only banks -- K-bank and Kakao Bank -- were launched last year.
The new bill permits non-financial firms to hold up to a 34 percent stake in a web-only bank, a move intended to drive innovative growth in the financial sector.
The FSC plans to receive applications for a third and fourth internet-only bank in February or March next year, Choi told reporters.
“After appropriate assessment procedures, I expect preliminary approval to be granted for a third and fourth Internet-only bank in April or May next year,” Choi said.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)