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Banking "Extremely professional and stellar expertise."
– IFLR1000 (2019)

Overview

Kim & Chang is widely recognized as having the most sophisticated and client-oriented banking law practice in Korea.  The Banking Practice at Kim & Chang represents a broad range of domestic and foreign banks and other financial institutions, such as financial holding companies and internet banks, regarding Korean banking laws and regulations.  

The Banking Practice has over 100 skilled lawyers, former regulators, accountants, and industry specialists with expertise on legal and regulatory matters in all aspects of banking in Korea.  Its services include the establishment and licensing of new banking entities, concurrent financial investment business licensing, advice on various banking and related laws and regulations, secured and unsecured lending transactions, bond issuances, fintech, M&A, regulatory reporting, audits, disputes involving financial institutions, and regulatory investigations.

Unparalleded Depth and Breadth of Professionals

The Banking Practice delivers comprehensive legal and regulatory advice in connection with all aspects of banking businesses in Korea, including lending transactions, bond issuances, restructurings, litigation and alternative disputes, compliance and audit-related matters, day-to-day operational matters, anti-trust issues, corporate governance, as well as corporate expansion and down-sizing.  The diversity and versatility of the lawyers, former regulators, accountants and industry specialists in the Banking Practice enable Kim & Chang to provide tailored legal services that cater to the needs of our clients.  

The unique combination of experienced Korean lawyers, foreign-licensed lawyers with experiences at major international law firms and global financial institutions and former regulators distinguishes Kim & Chang’s Banking Practice from other law firms in Korea. 

The Banking Practice provides insightful and reliable up-to-date legal and regulatory advice to clients, and its highly qualified lawyers, former regulators and other professionals have been involved in virtually all precedent-setting transactions and regulatory matters for a variety of international and domestic financial institutions. 

Total Comprehensive Care

The Banking Practice offers a comprehensive multi-dimensional service.  It assembles a unique team of professionals specializing in various areas of law to deal with the rising complexity of legal issues affecting the banking industry with an aim to provide a one-stop legal service.  It works closely with the other practices within the firm to offer advice on securities, asset management, private equity funds, M&A, insurance, bankruptcy and insolvency, tax, anti-trust, labor, employment, real estate, and other legal matters important to banks and other financial institutions operating in Korea.  This approach permits the Banking Practice to offer the most comprehensive and effective legal services to its clients in Korea’s dynamic market.  Based on its close understanding of the legal needs and concerns of its clients as well as their business goals and operations, it offers customized services to meet the clients’ demands.

Globally Recognized Excellence

Legal media have consistently ranked Kim & Chang as top-tier for its Korean banking law practice. The following is a list of some of the more recent recognitions received: 

  • Top-tier in Banking & Finance - The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • Top-tier in Banking & Project Finance - IFLR1000 
  • Top-tier in Banking & Finance - Asialaw Profiles
  • Top-tier in Banking & Finance - Chambers Global
  • Top-tier in Banking & Finance - Chambers Asia-Pacific

Key Servicesshow

Establishment of Banking Entities

The Banking Practice at Kim & Chang has assisted most of the major global banks in establishing, registering, licensing, reorganizing, closing, planning strategies, and conducting day-to-day operations of their subsidiaries, branches, joint ventures, affiliates, and representative offices in Korea.  The Banking Practicehas also actively advised clients in forming financial holding companies in Korea and reorganizing their structures under the Financial Holding Companies Act, and setting up internet banks, payment service providers, and other fintech entities in Korea.

 
Legal and Regulatory Advice

The banking industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in Korea, requiring compliance with various laws and regulations.  The Banking Practice has unsurpassed expertise and experience in advising on legal, regulatory and compliance matters related to banking businesses in Korea, including audits and investigations by various regulators, such as the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Financial Services Commission, the Financial Supervisory Service, and The Bank of Korea.  The Banking Practice also keeps its clients up-to-date by monitoring and advising on constantly changing laws, regulations, rules, guidelines, and model standards that affect the banking industry. 

 
Transactions

The Banking Practice is a renowned leader in mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, project financing, international financing, trade financing, structured financing, foreign exchange transactions, derivatives transactions, securitization, loans, bond issuances, deposits, trusts, customer privacy, business outsourcing, and other major activities involving various banks and financial holding companies in Korea.  The Banking Practice regularly assists clients in designing, structuring, introducing and updating cutting-edge financial products in Korea.  

The Banking Practice provides its banking M&A clients with comprehensive legal services in all stages of their transactions from targeting potential opportunities to closing the deal.  Its highly experienced and efficient organization of professionals can successfully conduct due diligence.  It also works closely with other specialized teams at the firm that focus on tax, restructuring, dispute resolution, securities regulation, and fair trade and anti-trust matters with an aim to deliver the best results in the most cost effective manner.  For more information, please see the M&A Practice on the website.

 
Shareholder Qualification Assessment and Shareholding Report

A bank is required to periodically submit a set of documents to the Financial Services Commission for the commission to assess the qualification of its shareholders who hold shares above a prescribed limit.  A shareholder of a bank can also be required to report the status of its shareholding in the bank to the regulators.  The Banking Practice assists in the preparation and submission of such regulatory documents.

 
Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Kim & Chang is well-renowned for its extensive experience representing financial institutions in all types of disputes, including, not only conventional lawsuits, but also alternative dispute resolution (e.g., arbitration, mediation) and administrative appeals as well.  With a comprehensive understanding of business trends in the banking industry and industry knowledge and insight into client businesses, the Banking Practice collaborates with the firm’s Litigation Practice and Arbitration Practice to help financial institutions navigate through complex disputes.  The Banking Practice is renowned for their leadership in resolving the complex disputes its clients face, regardless of whether they are against private parties or regulatory authorities.   

 
Regulatory Audits and Investigations

The Banking Practice assists banks in dealing with various audits and investigations conducted by regulators, such as the Financial Supervisory Service and The Bank of Korea.  It helps ensure that the audits and investigations proceed in compliance with relevant laws and regulation and that its clients’ positions and views are presented to the regulators appropriately.  If a client faces a regulatory sanction, the Banking Practice advises the client on the sanction process and can engage in its defense.  The Banking Practice, utilizing its vast experience, conducts a diagnostic assessment of its clients’ potential issues and concerns even before a regulatory audit or investigation and offers a solution for mitigating the risk in advance.

Key Experienceshow

Advice Relating to Policy and Legal Analysis
  • Participated in Task Forces with various government agencies formed to cover the amendment of relevant laws
  • Assisted clients in applying for no-action letters and regulatory rulings
  • Reviewed general terms and conditions of banks
  • Participated in establishing regulations for OTC derivatives CCP
  • Rehypothecation of KTB (Korea Treasury Bond)
  • Assisted clients in the establishment of internet banks in Korea
  • Represented banks in covered bond issuances
  • Conducted check of anti-money laundering law compliance
  • Assisted clients in obtaining approvals for shareholders of banks holding in excess of prescribed limit
 
Establishment of Banks and Financial Holding Companies
  • Advised on the establishment of Standard Chartered Korea
  • Advised on the establishment of Citigroup Korea
  • Advised on the establishment of KB Financial Group
  • Advised on the establishment of Shinhan Financial Group
  • Advised on the establishment of JB Financial Group
  • Advised on the establishment of NongHyup Financial Group
  • Advised on the conversion of Daegu Bank into a financial holding company
  • Advised on the establishment of BS Financial Group and relevant license issues (comprehensive stock transfer)
  • Advised on the establishment of KDB Financial Group through stock split and stock swap of Korea Development Bank
  • Advised on the establishment of K Bank, one of the first internet banks in Korea
  • Advised on the establishment of Toss Bank, a new internet bank
 
M&A of Financial Institutions
  • KDIC (Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation)’s sale of Woori Bank
  • KB Financial Group’s acquisition of LIG Insurance
  • Closure of part of domestic business units of a foreign bank
  • Korea Development Bank’s acquisition of KDB Financial Group and Korea Finance Corporation
  • Hana Financial Group’s equity acquisition of Korea Exchange Bank
  • KB Financial Group’s P&A acquisition of Jeil Savings Bank
  • DBG Financial Group’s 100% equity acquisition of Metro Asia Capital
  • MBK Partner’s tender offer of HK Savings Bank shares
  • KB Financial Group’s acquisition of Hyundai Securities
  • Yuanta Commercial Bank’s acquisition of Hanshin Savings Bank
 
Licensing under Capital Markets Act
  • OTC derivatives investment trading business license for the Seoul branch of OCBC
  • KTB (Korea Treasury Bond)/MSB (Monetary Stabilization Bond) investment trading business license for the Seoul branch of Goldman Sachs International Bank
  • KTB trading license for Societe Generale’s Seoul branch
  • Investment trading license for treasury securities and non-equity based OTC derivatives for ING Bank’s Seoul branch
  • Investment brokerage license for non-equity based OTC derivatives for Credit Suisse’s Seoul branch
 
Bank Litigations
  • Represented multiple banks in foreign currency hedging product (KIKO) related litigations and kun-mortgage expenses litigations
  • Represented KB Kookmin Bank in the litigation over corporate income tax return
  • Represented major banks in private equity fund-related litigations
 
Establishment of Korean Branch or Office by Foreign Financial Institutions
  • Bank of Communications’ Seoul branch
  • Morgan Stanley Bank International Ltd.’s Seoul branch
  • Goldman Sachs International Bank’s Seoul branch
  • Landesbank Baden-Württemberg’s Seoul branch
  • Royal Bank of Scotland’s Seoul branch
  • Macquarie Bank Limited’s Seoul branch
  • BBVA Bank’s Seoul branch
  • BDO Unibank’s Seoul representative office
  • Northern Trust Company’s Seoul representative office
  • China Everbright Bank’s Seoul branch

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