K bank is working to resume its operations in July after a monthslong hiatus due to liquidity problems, according to industry insiders on June 9.
South Korea’s first internet-only bank recently announced that it would stop receiving new subscribers for its existing Dual-K Checking Account, its signature savings account product, from July 1.
The announcement appears to be a prelude to introducing a new banking product as part of its reopening strategy, sources noted.
K bank admitted that it is working on offering customers a new product, but declined to comment on its return-to-service plan.
“Although a new product is in the pipeline, details, such as launch date, have not been decided yet,” a spokesperson said.
Launched in April, 2017, the online-only bank has released only one type of savings account product while most of its operations, including loan services, have been halted since April last year as it failed to raise additional capital from its shareholders, including telecom giant KT.
The fundraising scheme went down the drain as the nation’s antitrust agency had banned the telecom giant from becoming the largest stakeholder as it had violated antitrust laws. In Korea, corporate entities are banned from gaining majority stake in a financial firm if they have violated antitrust laws in the past five years.
The online bank and its corporate shareholders came up with an alternative plan to raise funds via BC Card, a credit card processing firm and an affiliate of telecom firm KT.
According to the bank, BC Card will become the largest shareholder after taking over 10 percent stake from KT and additionally acquire an additional 24 percent, both this month.
KT is currently one of the largest shareholders of the online bank with 10 percent stake while Woori Bank owns 14 percent.
Woori Bank will reportedly participate in the fundraising scheme scheduled this month by purchasing some 260 billion won ($217 million) worth of new K bank shares. Its stake is forecast to reach 22.8 percent after the acquisition.