Financial Institutions

  1. Financial Stability
  2. Financial Stability
  3. Financial System in Korea
  4. Financial Institutions

Financial institutions serve mainly as intermediaries for savings and investment between savers and borrowers, and are commonly divided into six categories: banks, non-bank depository institutions, financial investment business entities, insurance companies, other financial institutions, and financial auxiliary institutions.


To elaborate on the financial institutions making up each category under this classification, banks are divided into commercial banks and specialized banks. Commercial banks consist of nationwide and local banks and branches of foreign banks. Special banks are financial institutions established under a special act rather than the Banking Act, and their main enterprises are banking businesses. Specialized banks include the Korea Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the Industrial Bank of Korea, Nonghyup Bank, Suhyup Bank, and others.

Non-bank Depository Institutions

Non-bank depository institutions mainly concern themselves with taking deposits and lending, similar to banks, but are established for more limited purposes and fall under distinct regulations concerning their raising and management of funds. That is, the scope of their business activities is narrower than that of banks, payment and settlement services are either non-existent or provided in a limited manner, and the focuses of their businesses are restricted in advance in accordance with each financial institution's unique features. Non-bankdepository institutions comprise mutual savings banks, credit cooperatives including credit unions, community credit cooperatives and mutual banking entities, merchant banks and the postal savings.

Financial Investment Business Entities

Financial investment business entities include all financial institutions that primarily conduct the business of trading marketable securities in the direct financing markets. These consist of investment traders and brokers (securities and futures companies), collective investment business entities, investment advisory and discretionary investment business entities, and trust business entities.

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are those institutions that underwrite and operate insurance against death, disease, old age, or a variety of accidents including fires. In consideration of the features of the institutions and their businesses, they are categorized into entities providing life insurance, non-life insurance, postal insurance, mutual aid, and others. Non-life insurance companies consist of property and casualty insurance companies, reinsurance companies, and guarantee insurance companies.

Other Financial Institutions

Other financial institutions include institutions mainly operating financial businesses that are difficult to classify among the financial institutions in the four aforementioned categories. They consist of financial holding companies, creditspecialized financial companies (leasing, credit card, installment financing, and new technology venture capital companies), venture capital companies (small and medium-sized enterprise establishment investment companies), securities finance companies, public financial institutions, and others.

Financial Auxiliary Institutions

Financial auxiliary institutions are those institutions that, rather than directly taking part in financial transactions, mainly provide the conditions necessary for smooth operation of the financial system. They span institutions carrying out businesses related to financial infrastructure such as the Financial Supervisory Service, the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute, the Korea Securities Depository, the Korea Exchange, credit guarantee institutions including the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and the Korea Technology Finance Corporation, credit information companies, financial brokerage companies, and others.

Financial Institutions in Korea(as of end-February 2018)

Financial Institutions in Korea(as of end-June 2016)
Classification Number Remarks
Financial holding companies Bank holding companies 7
Non-bank holding companies 2
Banks Commercial Banks Nationwide Banks 8 including two direct bank
Local Banks 6
Branches of Foreign Banks 38 47 branches
Specialized Banks


Non-bank Depository Institutions Merchant Banking Corporations 1
Mutual Savings Banks 79
Credit Cooperatives Credit Unions 898
MG community credit cooperatives 1,315
Mutual Banking 1,358
Postal Savings 1
Financial Investment Business Entities Securities Companies 55 Including 11 foreign branches
Futures Companies 5
Collective Investment Business Entities 215
Investment Advisory and Discretionary Investment Business Entities 179
Trust Business Entities Bank / Securities / Insurance / Real Estate Trust 56 19/20/6/11
Insurance Companies Life Insurance Companies 25 Including9 foreign companies
Non-life Insurance Companies Property and Casualty Insurance Companies 19 Including 4 foreign companies and 4 branches
Reinsurance Companies 10 Including 9 foreign branches
Guarantee Insurance Companies 3 Including 1 foreign branch
Postal Insurance 1
Mutual Aid Associations Mutual Aid Services of NFFC / Korean FCCC / NCUF Korea 3
Other Financial Institutions Credit-specialized Financial Companies Leasing 97


Credit Card
Installment Financing
New Technology Venture Capital Companies
Venture Capital Companies SME Establishment Investment Companies 120
New Technology Venture Capital Companies 42
Securities Finance Companies 1
Financial Auxiliary Institutions Financial Supervisory Service 1
Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation 1
Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearing Institute 1
Credit Guarantee Institutions Korea credit guarantee fund 2
Korea technology finance corporation
Credit Information Companies 33 Including 4 combining businesses company
Korea Asset Management Corporation 1
Korea Housing Finance Corporation 1
Korea exchange 1
Financial Brokerage Companies 13 Including 10 foreign exchange brokage firms