South Korean financial firms have let go of a number of their employees as they scale back on operations in a bid to regain profitability, with two insurance companies having the most layoffs.
Data from the Financial Supervisory Service shows that financial companies cut 1,700 jobs in 2016. For that year, the combined number of employees for all registered banks, insurers, and brokerages was 89,483, which was 2% lower than 2015 levels.
The aging population of the country was also seen as a factor behind the decline in employee numbers, as many employees have reached retirement age and some were not replaced.
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A report from the Korea Times
showed that Meritz Fire & Marine Insurance let go of the most staff last year, with 316 employees losing their jobs. Mirae Asset Life Insurance was in second place, with 298 jobs lost.
Poor performance of the Korean stock market is seen as one of the reasons behind financial firms’ downsizing, according to analysts. The Korea Herald
reports that potential nuclear tests by Pyongyang have created widespread concerns around the market, with fears of a potential military conflict arising.
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