|Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul / Courtesy of Hana Bank|
By Lee Min-hyung
|Hana Financial Group Chairman Kim Jung-tai|
Under the plan, the bank will translate most Korean-language documents into English. Hana Financial Group's other subsidiaries will follow suit afterwards, according to the group.
"Nothing specific is confirmed over when the process will be finished, but Hana Bank will start carrying out the drive sometime in the latter half of the year," an official from the bank said.
This comes as Hana Financial Group Chairman Kim Jung-tai has underlined the importance of the lender's aggressive globalization drive. In a New Year speech, he urged employees to pay more attention to expanding the group's global business with a focus on the Asian market.
Currently, the group's overseas business accounts for around 20 percent of the total. Kim pledged to establish a stable business portfolio by increasing its global profile steadily.
Earlier, the Hana chief introduced an English-language nickname campaign among the firm's employees for the first time. The step was aimed at expanding horizontal corporate culture, thereby seeking new changes and innovation, according to the group.
The Korean subsidiaries of overseas lenders ― such as Standard Chartered Bank Korea and Citibank Korea ― also adopt dual documentation systems operating in both Korean and English.
But few Seoul-based financial firms have engaged in the drive, as it has been only a few years since local banks identified the importance of the global market.
The conservative nature of the industry has also blocked most lenders from adopting such large changes. But with the banking industry reaching saturation amid fierce rivalry, most lenders have in recent years started expanding into overseas territories particularly in Asia.
"Globalization is a must for most financial firms' sustainable growth at a time when most lenders are faced with tougher competition in the domestic market amid the prolonged low interest rate," an official from the finance industry said.