South Korean bank union calls for earlier closing times

Seoul, South KoreaThe Korea Financial Industry Union (KFIU), which represents 37 smaller finance unions, is claiming that banks should close at 3:30pm instead of 4:30. According to The Chosun Ilbo the claim is likely to be the major issue during this year’s collective bargaining with the Korea Federation of Banks starting early next month.

“A KFIU official claimed bank staff often work into the night and get home late due to leftover work after the branches close at 4:30pm If banks closed at 3:30pm, bank staff would be able to return home at 7pm, the official said. He added advancing closing time would also enable banks to save wages on overtime work. The union says shortening business hour will not inconvenience customers unduly due to the spread of online banking and automated teller machines.”

The Chosun Ilbo however reports widespread customer and bank dissatisfaction with the claim, stating: “The lazy complaints of the KFIU only remind us that our financial industry is still living inside a greenhouse, protected from the elements.” It also says though that “these days, when competition is getting stiffer, it is becoming harder to survive unless a bank is open longer, even if that requires more workers.”

Hmm, more workers…

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