It has been reported by The Korea Times that Lee Mun-whan, the CEO of K bank, has revealed that the bank would be profitable by 2022, paving the way for the public listing.
However, the expected positive revenue turnaround for K bank is coming after a tumultuous 2019 that saw Korea Telecoms barred from becoming the bank’s largest shareholder.
The report said that this regulatory imbroglio contributed to K bank posting a 100 billion won ($89 million) loss in 2019.
South Korea's first internet-only bank, K bank, may pursue an IPO in 2022 as growing deposits from crypto-traders are catapulting the bank towards profitability. https://t.co/HaQ9FIV0LU — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) March 3, 2021
BC Card, a Korea Telecoms subsidiary, has been allowed to become the bank’s largest shareholder without causing any wrinkles with the country’s fair trade laws. K bank has also seen a 400 billion won ($356 million) capital influx since the resolution of the shareholder issue with Mun-whan stating that the bank is focused on growing its capital base to beyond 1.5 trillion won ($1.3 billion).
According to Baek Kyoum Kim of Hashed, a South Korean blockchain investment group, K bank is accelerating its IPO plans on the back of significant growth brought on by onboarding new crypto users.
Upbit's main KRW fiat on-ramp provider KBANK is accelerating its IPO schedule thanks to explosive growth through new crypto user onboarding… added $2B+ to AUM just in Feb 2021 🤯 No wonder why all banks feeling big FOMO on cryptohttps://t.co/tmz6G3XIuv — Baek Kim | HASHED (@baekkyoumkim) March 3, 2021
The report said that K bank saw a surge in term deposits from new customers looking to invest in cryptocurrencies at the start of the year.
After laws passed in March 2020, crypto trading in South Korea is only possible through real-name accounts.
Thus, crypto exchanges have to work in tandem with commercial banks, likely putting an end to the use of “honeycomb accounts” for cryptocurrency trading.