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Korea's best international bank 2021: Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered

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Park Jong Bok, Standard Chartered Bank Korea.jpeg
Park Jong Bok, Standard Chartered Bank Korea

For international bank chieftains, life in Seoul is never boring. South Korean regulators are notorious for sudden tweaks to policies on household loans, dividends, labour policies and other areas that require increasingly agile responses.

Standard Chartered has persevered through all the changes, making it the Asiamoney pick for best international bank in Korea, where it is led by chief executive Park Jong-Bok. Since buying First Korea Bank in 2005 for $3.3 billion, Standard Chartered has rarely looked back.

The country, after all, has a knack for confounding sceptics. In the late 1990s, Korea was first to recover from the region’s financial crisis. In 2000, 2008 and 2013, it navigated around the worst of the dot-com crash, the Lehman Brothers meltdown and the taper tantrum in emerging markets, respectively. It’s leading the world out of Covid-19 recession too.

Now, says Colin Chiang, head of wealth management in Seoul, Standard Chartered is positioning itself to be part of the digital transformation unfolding in one of Asia’s most tech-driven places.