Citibank Korea and Korea Exchange Bank Receive Most Complaints

D-bo, March 18, 2015, 7:47 a.m.

Citibank Korea and Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) topped the list of banks that receive the highest number of consumer complaints, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said Monday.   The financial watchdog said it received 11.7 complaints per 100,000 customers against Citibank in 2014, followed by KEB with 8.1 and Standard Chartered (SC) Bank Korea with 7.9 and KB Kookmin Bank with 5.8.

“The outcomes of the annual survey serve as a warning to each financial institution that it cannot ignore the rights of consumers,” Seo Jeong-bo, senior official at the watchdog’s Consumer Protection Division, said.  He added that Citibank and SC perform badly as they operate credit-card businesses under the same roof.

An industry insider said Citibank received a higher number of complaints last year partly because it reduced the number of branches from 190 to 134.  “Apparently, some customers experienced inconveniences because of the closure of some branches,” he said.

A working-level FSS official pointed out that the number of complaints against KEB noticeably dropped in the latest survey because KEB separated its credit card unit in 2014 through a merger with Financial Hana Group.  KEB ranked first in the number of complaints among banks in 2013 with 9.8 complaints per 100,000 customers, followed by Citibank, SC and KB.

Among credit card issuing companies, KB topped the list, followed by Lotte Card, Hana Card, Hyundai Card and Shinhan Card.  KB had 16.3 complaints per 100,000 customers in the 2014 survey. Lotte and Hana received 16.2 and 15.6, respectively.  Among life insurance companies, DGB Life Insurance had 62.1 complaints out of 100,000 customers, followed by KDB Life Insurance and ING Life Insurance, Heungkuk Life Insurance and Dongyang Life Insurance.

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