Banks in South Korea

Hana Bank Korea Exchange Bank Kookmin Bank Nonghyup Bank Shinhan Bank Woori Bank
Hana Bank KEB Kookmin Bank Nonghyup Bank Shinhan Bank Woori bank

The Korean banking sector consists of about 140 banks including 54 commercial banks, 79 mutual savings banks and 5 specialized banks which offer different services to a niche segment of clients. The commercial banks include 6 nationwide banks, 6 local banks and 42 branches of foreign banks. The Top 10 Korean banks hold combined assets of approximately US$2.5 trillion.

Bank of Korea – The central bank of South Korea founded on June 12, 1950 under the Bank of Korea Act. The primary purpose of BOK is to pursue price stability.

Busan Bank – A regional bank providing a complete range of financial services for personal customers. The main shareholders are Aberdeen Asset Management Asia, Lotte group, National Pension Service, Capital Research & Global Investors, Parkland and Templeton.

DGB Financial Group – A South Korean banking holding company. Its flagship company, Daegu Bank, is one of the largest regional banks in the country, mostly serving customers in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk region. The Group was established in May 2011 and is headquartered in Daegu.

Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) provides commercial banking services to small and mid-sized companies. The Bank leads South Korea in small business loans, which represents approximately 81% of its lending portfolio. The government owns a 57.7% majority in IBK. The company’s total loan balance stood at KRW 152 trillion at the end of 2014.

Hana Financial Group – One of the leading banking groups with the largest global network in the Korean financial industry. As of May 10, 2018, it had a market capitalization of US$14 billion.

Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) was the fifth largest Korean commercial bank in terms of local banking deposits. It was acquired by Hana Financial Group and merged with Hana Bank in 2015.

KEB Hana Bank was launched through the merger of KEB and Hana Bank on September 1, 2015. The new Bank has about 950 branches with assets totaling 300 trillion won.

KB Kookmin Bank – The largest retail bank in South Korea. It has the most extensive branch network and the largest customer base in Korea. KB maintains the biggest market share in deposits and loans and has the highest rating of AAA from two local credit rating agencies, National Information & Credit Evaluation and Korean Investors Service Inc.

Korea Development Bank (KDB) – A wholly state-owned bank. It was founded in 1954 in accordance with Korea Development Bank Act to finance and manage major industrial projects and enhance the national economy.

Kwangju Bank – A regional bank located in Kwangju city, Korea. It provides a wide range of financial services for SMEs and individuals. It offers deposit products, loans, credit cards, insurance, foreign currency exchange, online banking and other services.

Korea International Merchant  – Korea International Merchant Bank merged with KEB on 1 January 1999.

Nonghyup Bank – The Bank for Korean farmers. It operates as a subsidiary of NongHyup Financial Group.

Shinhan Bank – One of the largest banks in South Korea with over 18 million customers and 900 branches nationwide. It is the main subsidiary of Shinhan Financial Group.

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) – One of Korea’s three policy banks. It is an official export credit agency providing export credit and guarantee programs to support the international business development of Korean companies. The bank has 10 local branches and 12 overseas offices.

Woori Bank – One of the largest commercial banks in the country with over 20 million customers, 15,800 employees and about $280 billion in assets.

Top Banks in South Korea

  Total assets (KRW trillion)

Rank Company 06/2017 12/2016 12/2015 12/2014 12/2013 12/2012 12/2011
1 KB Financial Group 422.249 375.674 329.065 308.356 291.838 285.751 277.601
2 Shinhan Financial Group 413.911 395.680 370.548 338.022 311.291 304.939 288.042
3 NongHyup Financial Group 381.600 366.945 339.841 315.714 254.535 248.499 n/a
4 Hana Financial Group 349.045 348.177 326.913 315.548 295.189 283.722 178.229
5 Woori Bank 316.065 310.683 291.859 270.157 340.690 327.102 312.792
6 Korea Development Bank n/a 272.838 309.492 276.705 258.511 165.780 149.597
7 Industrial Bank of Korea 257.482 256.851 239.843 219.761 212.583 198.270 185.976
8 BNK Financial Group * 111.090 106.358 101.229 93.323 51.130 42.907 39.388
9 DGB Financial Group (DGBFG) 56.870 53.462 51.144 41.010 37.578 34.218 31.294

* BNK Financial Group was formerly known as BS Financial Group.