South Korean financial firms have increased the number of foreign branches over the past five years, but such operations suffer from low profitability, the financial regulator said Tuesday.
The number of overseas branches by local banks, credit card and other financial firms rose to 410 in 45 countries at the end of March this year, up 11 percent from the end of 2012, the Financial Supervisory Service said in a statement.
Asia accounted for 67.8 percent of all overseas branches. North and South America accounted for 17.1 percent, while Europe took 11.2 percent.
However, overseas branches accounted for only 4.6 percent of profits generated by local banks last year.
In comparison, about 54 percent of profits by global financial group Citigroup came from its overseas branches.
To better help local financial firms make inroads into overseas markets, the FSS said it will step up cooperation and exchanges with foreign financial regulators. (Yonhap)