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Seoul Financial Hub

Domestic financial industry



Domestic banks and domestic branches of international banks are the two types of banks (foreign bank branches). Additionally, domestic banks are categorized into commercial, regional, internet-only, and special banks based on their purpose of establishment and operational traits.
Foreign bank branches may do the same business as domestic banks since domestic banking law recognizes them as the same financial institution.

The following summarizes the state of domestic banking today.
Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank, Hana Bank, SC First Bank, and Citibank Korea run commercial banks with a combined asset base of roughly KRW 2,453 trillion (As of December 2023).

With a combined total of about KRW 295 trillion in assets, regional banks Kyongnam Bank, Kwangju Bank, Daegu Bank, Busan Bank, Jeonbuk Bank, and Jeju Bank operate (As of December 2023).

K-Bank, Kakao Bank, and Toss Bank are three internet-only banks without physical locations; their combined assets total around KRW 101 trillion (As of December 2023).

With a combined asset base of roughly KRW 1,451 trillion, the special banks are run by the Korea Development Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Export-Import Bank of Korea, Nonghyup Bank, and Suhyup Bank (As of December 2023).

There are currently 34 domestic branches of international banks operating, with approximately KRW 407 trillion in total assets (As of December 2023).

The main financial and management indicators of domestic banks are as follows.

(Unit: KRW trillion, %)
Division 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total assets1) 2,692.6 2,997.6 3,274.2 3,992.7 3,672.6
Net income 13.9 12.1 16.9 18.6 21.3
Non Performing Loan(NPL) 0.77 0.64 0.50 0.36 0.47
Total capital ratio 15.26 16.52 16.52 16.23 16.56
Return on Assets(ROA) 0.52 0.42 0.53 0.53 0.56
Return on Equity(ROE) 6.71 5.54 7.01 7.43 8.15
1) According to bank accounts (excluding money trust accounts and deposit accounts)
Through the self-regulatory organization's website, you may view the membership list and industry statistics (association).
Reference : Korea Federation of Banks (
- Source : Banking Act│Act on Special Cases concerning the Establishment and Operation of Internet-Only Banks│Bank Association│Bank of Korea│ 21 Domestic Bank Store Operation Status, Financial Supervisory Service│2021 Foreign Bank’s Domestic Branch Operations, Financial Supervisory Service│ Financial Statistical Information System

Why Banks in Seoul?

  • Digital finance

    The city of Seoul has a high-level of digital financial infrastructure, so the financial industry can develop in line with the times.

  • Financial hub

    As the financial hub of Korea, Seoul is densely clustered with various financial institutions.

    In particular, Yeouido, where SFH is located, is Seoul's financial center.

  • Social credibility

    The delinquency rate and bankruptcy rate is low for the domestic market, along with the recovery rate that is high, making social credibility high.

  • Various combined products

    Domestic banks can sell various combined products such as bancassurance and beneficiary certificates.

  • Financial Regulatory Sandbox

    By utilizing innovative financial services, it is possible to develop and support financial services that incorporate new technologies.

  • Networking opportunities

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government holds the Seoul Financial Week and the Seoul International Financial Conference every year, making network establishment possible amongst financial institutions and companies.