General Motors Korea and union to hold new round of wage talks

The most thorny issue between GM Korea and its union is job security for 680 workers at the Gunsan factory that is due to be closed by May. Above, an assembly line of GM Korea's Bupyeong plant in Incheon. (Reuters)
Updated 20 April 2018
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General Motors Korea and union to hold new round of wage talks

SEOUL: General Motors’ South Korean unit and its labor union are set to hold another round of wage talks on Friday afternoon, keen to stave off a threat by the US automaker to seek bankruptcy for the loss-making unit.
GM, which in February announced its plan to shut down one of its plants in Korea, wants wage concessions from its labor union as well as government funding and incentives to save three other factories in the country.
The Detroit automaker has said the unit is likely to file for bankruptcy if there was no restructuring agreement by Friday. Marathon talks on Thursday failed to reach an agreement.
The two sides will hold another round of talks at 1 p.m. Korea time (0400 GMT), a union official said, adding that the most thorny issue is job security for 680 workers at the Gunsan factory that is due to be closed by May.
“We don’t want a disaster. We still have to keep in mind the worst situation,” he said, declining to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the talks.
“Today is an important day and we will concentrate our efforts on the negotiations.”
Any deal reached would be subject to a vote by union members in the coming days.
If they fail to reach a deal, GM Korea plans to hold a board meeting at around 8 p.m. to discuss a plan to file for bankruptcy protection for the operation, a source familiar with the matter said, also declining to be identified.
GM Korea is “committed to reach a tentative agreement with the labor union today to support the plan to make the company profitable and viable for the long-term,” said company spokesman Park Hae-ho.


Fintech makes inroads in US banking market, but revenue share minimal — Accenture

Updated 1 min 35 sec ago
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Fintech makes inroads in US banking market, but revenue share minimal — Accenture

  • Around 19 percent of financial institutions in the US are new entrants, such as challenger banks, non-bank payments institutions and big tech companies
  • New entrants account for 63 percent of financial players in the UK

NEW YORK: Financial technology startups and other new entrants are making inroads in the US banking market, but have yet to capture a threatening share of bank revenues, according to research published by Accenture on Wednesday.
Around 19 percent of financial institutions in the US are new entrants, such as challenger banks, non-bank payments institutions and big tech companies, according to the report. Yet they have amassed only 3.5 percent of the total $1.04 trillion in banking and payment revenues so-far, Accenture found.
In the UK, new entrants have made a larger dent, having captured 14 percent of the total €206 billion ($238.45 billion) in industry revenues, with the majority going to non-bank payments companies, according to the report.
Accenture assessed more than 20,000 banking and payments institutions across seven markets around the world to determine the level of change that digital technologies have brought about in banking.
Since the financial downturn, a growing number of companies across the world have sought to position themselves as cheaper and more user-friendly alternatives to banks by making better use of new technology.
Banking and payments institutions have decreased by nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2017. Still, one in six current institutions is what Accenture considers a new entrant, or companies that have entered the market since 2005.
Their impact has varied by geography.
Tougher regulations and greater dominance of large banks have made the US a more difficult market for new entrants in areas excluding payments, Alan McIntyre, head of Accenture’s global banking practice, said in an interview.
“You still have a very robust banking market in the US,” McIntyre said.
More than half of new current accounts opened in the United States have been captured by three large banks, which have had more money to invest in digital than smaller regional players, he added.
In the UK the situation has been different, thanks in part to a push from regulators aimed at fostering greater competition in the financial sector and diminishing the dominance of large banks.
New entrants account for 63 percent of financial players in the UK, according to the report.
The report also found new entrants are taking over one third of new revenue, pointing to their potential to pose a greater competitive threat going forward.
In Europe, including the UK, 20 percent of banking and payments institutions are new entrants and have captured nearly 7 percent of total banking revenues, according to the report.