financial regulator-confirmation hearing

SEOUL, March 18 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's nominee for South Korea's financial watchdog said Monday that he will do his utmost in breaking the vicious cycle of "greed" rampant in the market and devote himself to making the country free of financial crises.

"When the instinct of greed overwhelms fear, the financial market is facing an unreasonable bubble. And when the bubble comes to the fore, fear runs out of control, leading to the collapse of the market itself and causing a crisis," Shin Je-yoon, the nominee for the Financial Services Commission (FSC), said in his keynote speech at the hearing.

"Financial crisis is just like perennial weeds so we have to look even into the areas that cannot be easily monitored," he added. "If I am given the chance to serve as the head of the FSC, I will work hard to make this country free of financial crisis."

Shin, who had worked as vice finance minister in charge of overall economic affairs for the past few years, promised to focus on breaking the vicious cycle of "greed and fear," while cultivating a culture where they could be replaced by "tolerance and restraint."

In a move to speed up the transition, Shin said that he will push for securing a sufficient amount of foreign currency liquidity, strengthening soundness of financial companies and tackling such potential problems as rising household debt that could weigh on the country's overall economy.

He also told lawmakers that he will push for fair enforcement of regulations in order to establish law and order in the financial market.

"I will establish fair financial order by enforcing stricter regulations on such unfair actions as stock price manipulation through stepped-up investigation and introduction of toughened penalties." the nominee said. "I will also keep the efforts to enhance transparency of the governance of financial companies."

The nominee also noted that it might be necessary to replace the incumbent heads of public financial institutions, such as state-owned banks, to pursue such goals.

"If I am appointed the head of the commission, I will see if there needs to be such a move after carefully studying the ruling philosophy and expertise of the new government," Shin told the hearing when asked if he planned to recommend replacing those appointed under the former Lee Myung-bak administration.

He also added the so-called public financial institutions whose heads may be replaced include de facto public entities, such as financial organizations whose chiefs are recommended by the FSC and those in which the government is the largest stakeholder.

<All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency>