A Crisis Cripples South Korea's Savings Banks

Closings, indictments, and suicides follow the real estate bust
Jeong Gu Haeng jumped six floors to his death in September Photograph by Yonhap/Lee Sang-Hak/AP Photo

On the day in May she was supposed to have appeared before prosecutors for questioning, an executive of a shuttered South Korean savings bank hanged herself with her scarf in a Seoul motel. The woman, identified by the police only as “Kim,” was a credit officer at Mirae Mutual Savings Bank, whose chairman was caught fleeing to China in a fishing boat three weeks earlier. She’s the latest casualty in a scandal hitting the periphery of Korea’s banking industry for more than a year.

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