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South Korea's 1st internet-only bank set to start ops in early 2017

South Korea's first internet-only bank is set to commence operations in early 2017 after obtaining final approval from the country's financial regulator.

K-Bank became the first bank in South Korea in 24 years to receive the Financial Services Commission's final approval, according to a Dec. 14 statement. The bank is expected to start operations at the end of January or early February 2017 after completing preparatory works.

K-Bank is led by a consortium of 21 shareholders, including KT Corp., Woori Bank, NH Investment & Securities Co. Ltd., Hanwha Life Insurance Co. Ltd. and Hong Kong-based e-payment platform Alipay, The Korea Herald reported the same day.

K-Bank was one of two internet-only banks that received preliminary licenses from the FSC in November 2015. Kakao Bank, the other internet-only bank, is also preparing to apply for final approval at the end of the year, the regulator noted.