The bank was established in the 19th century, in the year 1899, which was then called ‘Dahan Cheon-il Bank’.
Woori Bank is a Korean multinational bank headquartered in Seoul. It is one of the four largest domestic banks in South Korea and is showing a strong presence not only for commercial banking but also for corporate finance in the Republic of Korea. Originally established in the 19th century, it was renamed and merged several times until it adopted its current name in 2002. Woori Bank is the first South Korean bank to support web browsers other than Internet Explorer for online banking in Korea. As of 2020, Woori ranks 95th on the list of the world’s largest banks in terms of total assets, which currently stands at USD 311,852 billion as of the end of 2019.
Its name was changed to ‘Joseon Seungp Bank’ (Joseon Commercial Bank) in 1911, then to ‘Commercial Bank of Korea’ in the 1950s. After the 1997 Asian financial crisis, it merged with the former ‘Hanil Bank’ and ‘Peace Bank’ to become ‘Hanvit Bank’. In 2001, it became a subsidiary of Woori Financial Group. The current name was adopted in 2002. Its Jongno branch is located in Gwangtongguan, which is believed to be the oldest continuously operating bank building in Korea. The branch was registered as a Seoul City Historic Landmark on 5 March 2001.
In 2014, after some amalgamation proceedings relating to its parent company, Woori Bank absorbed Woori Financial Group.
Even though privatization has been going on since 2010 to recover public money, there is no clear expectation of procurement and is being overseen. With the government crying out for maximizing the recovery of public money, it has been continuously raised whether to sell the 51.4% stake in the government.
The South Korean government is pursuing privatization based on the principle of maximizing the recovery of public funds, the development of the financial industry, and prompt privatization, but the results are s. Less notably, the previous government attempted to sell the management rights and minority stake separately but ended in failure. This was because it was difficult to find a company that would acquire 51.4% in one go.
The current South Korean government is considering a sale method that basically involves splitting the stake into equal shares for a few elite shareholders. This is a way of showing ease of sale by selling the same stake to multiple investors, but it is characterized by the fact that Voori Bank’s main shareholders have become separated and vulnerable to outside management intervention as the shares are split. The Public Fund Management Committee announced that it would plan to sell the first 30% and proceed. However, there is a question about what it wants to execute as no specific program is mentioned.
Woori Bank has invested in the 12.8 trillion Won Public Fund, of which to recover Won 4.4 trillion, which is the unrecovered amount, it would have to increase by more than 50% of the current stock price. There is an ongoing discussion among scholars about occupational safety and temporary suspension for the banking industry due to rapid sales.