Tokyo FinTech
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Tokyo FinTech

Five Pillars of Korea’s Financial Regulatory Reform

The FSC launched a financial regulatory reform committee, composed of 17 private sector participants with expertise in economics, finance, digital, law, and media sectors, to push forward financial regulatory reform initiatives through a private-public cooperation.

In his opening remarks at the kick-off meeting for the committee on July 19, FSC Chairman Kim Joo-hyun emphasized the need for financial regulatory reforms in response to the reshaping of the financial sector and technological changes caused by digital transformation and a blurring of the barriers across sectors (called a ‘Big blur’ phenomenon). In order for the financial sector to play a key role in economic growth as an independent industry, Chairman Kim called for bold reforms of financial regulations.

Chairman Kim introduced five major tasks for financial regulatory reforms, which the FSC selected after its preliminary review based on feedback gathered from financial industry and market participants:

1. Easing Regulatory Barriers to Digitalization of Financial Companies

The current rule that requires the separation between industrial and financial capital has been deemed as one of regulatory barriers to digitalization of financial companies and thus has received many requests from financial companies for regulatory improvements. In response to such requests, the FSC will first review a plan for improving regulations on the scope of business and restrictions on investment in subsidiaries by financial companies, in order to promote financial companies’ operations in IT and platform businesses and investments in new technologies.

2. Rationalizing Sectoral Regulatory Framework

As part of its efforts to rationalize the current sectoral regulatory framework, the FSC will allow a pilot testing of financial intermediary services provided through online platforms, while supporting financial companies’ transition to financial platforms.

3. Building Infrastructures for Digital Finance Innovation

The FSC will accelerate building of infrastructure for digital finance innovation by (a) upgrading the existing schemes for financial innovation — e.g. MyData business, open banking services and regulatory sandbox; (b) establishing a regulatory framework for emerging digital sectors such as crypto assets and fractional investments.

4. Overhauling Capital Markets Infrastructures

The FSC will (a) overhaul capital markets infrastructures with the regulatory improvement of trust schemes and the introduction of an alternative trading system (ATS) and (b) promote investments by addressing investors’ inconvenience and improving ESG disclosure rules.

5. Improving Practices for Regulatory Supervision, Sanction and Inspections

To help financial regulatory reforms translate into actual changes in practice, the financial authorities, including the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), will come up with plans to improve its practices in regulatory supervision, sanction and inspections on financial companies.

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Norbert Gehrke

Norbert Gehrke

Passionate about strategy & innovation across Asia. At home in Japan. Connector of people & ideas.