New chief of Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Kim Ki-sik who had been challenged by the opposition camp for fitness to head the financial regulator soon after he started office at the beginning of this month resigned upon charges of violating the election laws.
Kim offered to step down after the National Election Commission (NEC) concluded he had violated the election law in 2016. The Blue House immediately accepted the the resignation.
Kim was accused of donating 50 million won ($46,829) to a think tank comprising of lawmakers of the Democratic Party in May 2016 before his term as the Democratic Party lawmaker ended.
The Blue House which defended him against attacks from the opposition about his overseas trips sponsored by financial institutions that fell under the jurisdiction of a legislative subcommittee he headed said it will make a decision depending on NEC judgment.
Kim, a civilian activist-turned politician, came under fire for going on three overseas trips funded by research and financial institutions he oversaw as a lawmaker. He went to Uzbekistan with money paid by the Korea Exchange in March 2014 and to China and India with fund from Woori Bank in May 2015. His trip to the U.S. and Europe in the same month was sponsored by the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.
The opposition also claimed he was unfit to spearhead the FSS which is probing illegal hiring practices at financial institutions when he too raised questions for promoting an intern soon after she accompanied him to a sponsored overseas trip.
President Moon Jae-in last Friday vowed to dismiss Kim if the NEC finds any illegality in his past acts.
Kim makes the second short-lived FSS chief under the Moon Jae-in administration as his predecessor Choe Heung-sik resigned last month over a hiring scandal at KEB Hana Bank that he had served as president in 2013. Yoo Kwang-yeol, chief deputy will act as the governor until a new chief is named.
By Kim Dong-eun and Choi Mira
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