President Moon to appoint deputy governor of Bank of Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will today appoint Bank of Korea (BoK) deputy governor Lee Seung-heon as the central bank’s

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Photo: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will today appoint Bank of Korea (BoK) deputy governor Lee Seung-heon as the central bank’s No. 2 decision maker.

Lee, a 31-year BoK veteran with ideological similarity to his predecessor Yoon Myun-shik, is Moon’s fourth replacement on the BoK’s seven-member monetary policy board. A respected figure within the BoK, Lee served as the bank’s international department chief and has been rapidly promoted over the past few years. After leading the BoK’s pandemic response, Lee is now expected to consolidate the post-pandemic economic recovery by coordinating internal organisational reforms as Seoul contends with an evolving domestic financial crisis.

Although South Korea is currently in recession—largely due to falling exports, which account for 40% of the GDP—inflation has remained relatively stable and the BoK has comfortably slashed interest rates and turned to quantitative easing. The new monetary policy board will likely seek to curtail further expansionary policy to limit rampant household debt and runaway property prices. If the new board fails to shift domestic policy, Moon’s approval will likely sink even further, damaging his chances of re-election in 2022 and compounding South Korea’s evolving economic predicament.

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