The Financial Supervisory Service works to protect financial consumers in collaboration with various government consumer protection agencies such as the Korea Consumer Agency, the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Fair Trade Commission.
Consumer protection activities that the Financial Supervisory Service performs can be broadly divided into ex-ante and ex-post measures. Whereas ex-ante measures include activities such as enforcing proper contract provisions for financial products and due disclosures and providing counseling and financial education to consumers, ex-post measures refer to actions that are intended to rectify abuses and malpractices of financial institutions and bring remedy to consumers who have been harmed.
In May 2012, the Financial Supervisory Service consolidated its consumer protection functions and established the Financial Consumer Protection Bureau (FCPB) for enhanced financial consumer protection. The FCPB’s main responsibilities and functions are to administer consumer complaints, provide consumer counseling and dispute mediation services, and take supervisory actions on improper business practices of financial institutions. In addition, the FCPB conducts wide-ranging financial education programs to help improve consumer financial literacy.
As part of its consumer protection mandate, the FCPB also evaluates financial institutions’ consumer protection practices and consumer complaint administration systems. When deemed necessary, the FCPB reviews complaints filed against financial institutions and conducts on-site inspections. In respect of product and service disclosures, the FCPB works to improve disclosures standards to help consumers make informed decisions. It also provides personal finance counseling services to help consumers exercise responsible and sound personal finance, management debt, and understand financial products. The FCPB also works to expand financial education by fostering partnerships between schools and financial institutions so that students can develop sound personal finance habits and skills.