As reported by the FT earlier this week, Standard Chartered have decided not to pursue their interest in LG Cards any further. Given the increasing number of households in Korea who can’t make ends meet, this is surely a prudent step: according to the Korea Times, spending exceeds income for 28 percent of households. The Joongang Daily also notes growing noise over the level of credit card fees in Korea. Standard Chartered have, according to the Chosun, habitually chosen a low-profile, low-confrontation approach in Korea, and maybe walking into an ongoing PR battle on card fees is not something it wants: a good feature by the Chosun on SC First Bank’s CEO can be found here, which contrasts Standard Chartered’s approach (including strenuous localization efforts) with the more inflexible Citibank approach.
UBS, meanwhile, have invested in the slightly less risky asset management business, with a 51% stake in Korea’s largest fund manager, Daehan Investment Management Trust Company.