Standard Chartered Plc's Korean unit may temporarily shutter some branches as a strike by employees heads toward a third week, the worst labour dispute involving foreign banks in South Korea in more than five years.
Standard Chartered First Bank Korea Ltd. will halt operations at 43 of its 392 branches from July 11 unless an agreement with the labour union is reached over the weekend, Joo Hee Sun, a spokeswoman for the Seoul-based unit said by phone. The strike began on June 27.
"We are considering this measure because of the risk of overwork by remaining employees," Joo said. "We will continue trying to hold talks with the union to resolve the dispute."
The strike comes as London-based Standard Chartered, which entered South Korea in 2005, struggles to attract more borrowers in Asia's fourth-largest economy. South Korea accounted for about 11 per cent of Standard Chartered's $16 billion (Dh58.8 billion) in revenue last year, according to Bloomberg data.
About half the employees at the Korean unit will protest a plan that would determine compensation based on individual performance, union spokesman Bae Kwang Jin said June 27. Bloomberg calls to Bae's cell phone for a comment were unanswered. The bank employed about 6,500 people and had 409 branches nationwide as of March 31, a regulatory filing showed.
Citigroup Inc.'s South Korean banking unit shut about a third of its 253 branches in December 2005 due to a strike following the acquisition of a local lender.
From / Gulf News