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South Korean regulator launches probe into bank hiring practices

South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service conducted a first round of inspections at 11 domestic banks to look into possible influence-peddling in their hiring practices, the Asia Economic Daily reported Dec. 22, citing industry sources.

The FSS is looking into cases involving children of current and former executives and plans to request criminal investigations if influence-peddling is suspected.

FSS inspectors on Dec. 19 seized emails and files from executives and employees at five national banks and six regional lenders. The regulator will conduct follow-up inspections by January 2018 based on its findings.

The three largest South Korean banks — KB Financial Group Inc.'s KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd.'s Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd. and Hana Financial Group Inc.'s KEB Hana Bank — are included in the probe.