Financial crimes in South Korea fell 10.5 percent on-year in 2018, data showed on May 14, but authorities vowed to boost efforts to prevent crimes at banks and other financial institutions.
The financial watchdog registered 145 cases of financial crimes, such as embezzlement and loan scams, last year, down from 162 in 2017, the Financial Supervisory Service said in a statement.
Financial crimes were liable for damages worth 129 billion won ($108.4 million) last year, compared with 120 billion won in 2017, according to the data.
The FSS said it will encourage banks and other financial institutions to beef up their internal control systems to prevent new types of financial crimes as more people use digital banking.
Last year, Samsung Securities was under a firestorm of criticism after it mistakenly paid stocks to its employees as dividends. The brokerage had originally planned to pay dividends of 1,000 won to its employees. However, it mistakenly paid 1,000 shares for each stake owned by its workers.
The chaos happened after a Samsung Securities trader made a keyboard entry mistake, typing “shares” instead of “won” in Korean when sending the dividends to employees.
The brokerage accidentally issued 112 trillion won worth of “ghost” stocks, and 16 employees at Samsung Securities sold off a combined 5.01 million shares. The sell-off occurred despite advisories about the mistake being sent to employees, raising concerns about the brokerage’s trading system and moral hazard among its workers.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)