Banks in South Korea

Type of accounts, services & fees

Find out here about the different accounts suitable for expats in South Korea, available banking services and fees.

Types of bank accounts

There are several different types of bank accounts available to citizens and foreigners alike. Most accounts do not require a minimum balance nor do they charge any fees to maintain one.

After signing up for an account, you will receive a bankbook to record your transactions and a bank card within a couple of weeks. The bank card is strictly an ATM card to withdraw money from any ATM machine. It cannot be used to charge purchases to your account.

Services, fees & interest

The beauty about most Korean bank accounts is the lack of service fees that they charge. So don’t get sucked into paying extra fees because it is likely that you won’t have to anywhere else.

If you are looking to make some interest on your account, the best route to take would be a savings account or an instalment account. Interest is generally between 2% and 4% and can be paid at varying periods of time (annually, semi-annually, monthly, etc).

Depending on which bank you sign up with, you may be offered tax benefits (especially if you are considered a resident of South Korea). Rates vary between banks and types of accounts. For example, Korean Exchange Bank charges 10.5% for taxes on a Time Deposit account (numbers were collected in March 2007 and are subject to change).


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