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Saturday, 13 June 2015

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part VIII: Suhyup Bank - Fresh Fish, Fresh Bank. Fish On!


The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 수산업협동조합/水産業協同組合/Susan-eop Hyeopdong Johap) or simply known as Suhyup (수협/水協/Suhyeop) is a Korean organisation which manages fishing, farming, fish market, marketing and other activities related to Korean seafood industry. The headquarters of Suhyup is located at 62 Ogeum Avenue/Ogeumno, Sincheon-dong 11-6 beonji, Seoul Songpa-gu.

Suhyup was established by the special law in 1962, with an objective of enhancing the social and economic status of fishermen and increasing the productivity of the fishery industry as well as the income of fishing households. It has promoted many industries, and many business. Korean marine products are famous for quality, nutrition and flavor because they are produced from the blessed clean waters around the Korean peninsula, which is also the junction of cold and warm currents in local seas. 

Suhyup primarily renders extension services to ensure safety in fishing operations and maximize catches. It seeks to keep waters clean to maintain high fish stocks and keep fishing villages vibrant and financially sound. Its marketing and distribution operations sustain fishing villages and protect both producers and consumers through joint sales of seafood and price stabilization. Last but not least, its banking business provides funds for fisheries and has developed into Korea's only maritime industry bank, thereby garnering even higher satisfaction and trust among fishermen and other customers. Suhyup also provides government-backed insurance to protect fishing boats, fishermen, and fish farms, and implements exchange programs between cities and fishing villages to bring them closer together. It strives to make fishermen and their fishing villages widely known.

Farming villages tend to be remote and generally do not receive as much welfare as they deserve. For this reason, Suhyup offers many opportunities, through the Fishermen Education Culture Welfare Foundation, for those engaged in fisheries in farming villages to experience culture and receive practical education. Suhyup is consolidating its global status through its endeavors in the International Cooperative Fisheries Organisation of the International Cooperative Alliance. We at Suhyup will step up our efforts to build a highly-capable organization that effectively leads the development of fishing villages and the fisheries industry for the benefit of all engaged in the fisheries. With pride in offering the freshest seafood, widely recognized for its health benefits, and a sense of mission to develop the fishing industry as a means of food security, Suhyup will continue work hand-in-hand with fishermen to protect our precious seas and fishing industry, sustaining and growing the industry.

During the 2008 Financial Crisis, the International Labor Organization (ILO) identified cooperatives as the most effective model, over other corporate models, in overcoming such crises. The world now pays belated attention to cooperatives, which had previously been considered to be an outdated economic model of bygone days.

However, despite its achievements, the fisheries industry is facing unprecedented crises due to the increasing costs of fishing arising from high oil prices, rapidly declining resources, polluted oceans and global warming – a byproduct of industrialization. To overcome these crises, the need for all cooperatives to take collaborative measures and to share their collective wisdom is steadily growing.

Suhyup Bank (수협은행/水協銀行/Suhyeop Eunhaeng) provides corporate and retail banking products and services primarily to the fishing industry in Korea. The company’s corporate banking services include general corporate banking services to large corporates, and small and medium enterprises, which comprise deposit products; corporate loans consisting of working capital loans, facility and equipment loans, specialized loans, acquisition financing, loans to companies for the purchase of supplies, and loans to borrowers for the purchase of land; overdraft facilities; trade-related financing; payment remittances; and issuances of letters of credit and guarantees. 

Its corporate banking services also consist of maritime investment and finance services, including ship finance and investment finance; and international banking services comprising the arrangement and participation in various international financing, foreign currency transactions, and trade financing. The company’s retail banking services consist of deposits products, such as demand deposits, time deposits, certificate of deposits, repurchase agreement deposits, certificate bills, and deposits in foreign currencies; consumer loans to individuals and households that include mortgage loans, home equity loans, and other consumer loans, such as overdraft loans; bankassurance services; credit cards; and online banking. 

In addition, Suhyup Bank offers trust services; policy funds; and beneficiary certificates, as well as engages in securities trading and investments. It provides its services through approximately 118 branches in urban and rural areas, supported by approximately 426 mutual saving and finance branches.