South Korea's finance minister on Monday asked heads of major banks to increase lending to small and medium-sized firms as part of efforts to boost the economy.
Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance, said it would be good if banks extend loans to smaller firms by taking into account their technology and growth potential, even if their collateral is not enough for borrowing.
He made the comments to reporters after a meeting with the heads of 18 banks, including KB Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Bank, at the headquarters of the Korea Federation of Banks in central Seoul.
The federation said local banks have increased assistance to the manufacturing sector, though it did not provide any further details.
South Korea has been struggling to reinvigorate the manufacturing sector, a key part of the country's economy.(Yonhap)