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South Korean bank granted foreign bank licence

NongHyup Bank has been granted a foreign authorised deposit-taking institution licence from APRA.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has announced that NongHyup Bank (NongHyup), a South Korean bank, has been granted a licence to operate as a foreign authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) under the Banking Act 1959.

Established in 2012, NongHyup is a South Korean agricultural bank headquartered in Seoul. It provides financial services to customers in both South Korea and internationally, including personal banking, corporate banking, and foreign exchange services.

The bank currently operates 10 branches across seven countries, including the US, Cambodia and Myanmar, with five regional offices including Beijing, New Delhi and London.

According to The Korea Times, NongHyup Bank is planning to open a Sydney branch during the third quarter of 2022 in an effort to fast-track its overseas expansion as part of “an ambitious plan to operate in 12 countries by 2025”.

An Australian business number (ABN) has already been registered for NongHyup Bank Sydney branch.

The bank’s global business chief Kim Yong-ki reportedly held a meeting at the bank’s headquarters in Seoul with senior trade and investment commissioner of Investment NSW, Michael Newman, for the purpose of discussing the operations of the Sydney branch.

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Mr Yong-ki called for close cooperation from Investment NSW in order to ensure that the bank’s Sydney branch would be able to engage in various infrastructure investment opportunities, according to The Korea Times.

The Australian investment officials reportedly suggested they would support NongHyup’s Sydney operations and discussed “mutual cooperative measures in ESG-principled investments”, over various sectors including renewable energy and agriculture, according to The Korea Times.

NongHyup Bank is the latest foreign bank to be granted a licence to operate in Australia.

Earlier this year, APRA granted a foreign ADI for the French arm of the retail banking group Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (Credit Agricole CIB).

The bank specialises in the businesses of capital markets and investment and corporate banking. Credit Agricole CIB operated in Australia since the 1980s, providing a range of financial products and services with a focus on the infrastructure, real estate and energy sectors, however, they were only granted the licence to operate as a foreign bank on 4 January 2022.

According to the bank, the licence formed part of the group’s ambition to develop a “global client-centric business model, drawing on its extensive product offerings and core strengths notably in financing and investors solutions”.  

[RELATED: Investment bank granted foreign ADI licence

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