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North Korea urges factory workers to use banking services

The North Korean authorities are making it mandatory for factory workers to use banking services, including bank accounts and bank cards, as part of a campaign to support banks in rural areas. 

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source in Yanggang Province told Daily NK on Monday that all cities and counties in the province are carrying out these efforts in accordance with instructions recently received from the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The finance departments of some factories have taken various measures to increase the number of workers who use banks, including cooperating with banks to hold financial education sessions for workers.

The finance department at the Hyesan Steel Mill, for example, has arranged with a bank to hold hour-long financial education sessions for workers at a set location since the end of April.

The finance department uses these sessions to inform workers about the state’s financial and monetary policy, which requires all workers to open bank accounts and apply for cards linked to those accounts starting in May.

The instructors at the sessions said that since the opening of bank accounts and bank cards is a state requirement, all workers will have to visit banks to set up their accounts in May.

Department officials said these orders are meant to promote the state’s provincial development plan, which aims to support banks in rural areas and normalize financial and monetary policies.

In other words, the educational sessions stressed that increasing factor workers’ bank utilization is intended to promote the development of rural areas.

“The finance department has set up a small financial counseling office in the steel mill, where visiting bankers or department staff can answer workers’ routine questions about financial transactions. The idea is to instill in the workers the idea that money is something you deposit in banks,” the source said.

“These measures are being taken not only at the Hyesan Steel Mill, but at other factories and companies in the province as well. Yanggang Province authorities expect that these arrangements will help change the attitude toward the financial system throughout the local community, leading to provincial banks playing a bigger role and helping to develop the regional economy,” the source added.

While it is unclear exactly what type of bank cards will be issued to the factory workers, it is believed that they will be debit cards limited to the amount of money in the linked bank account, as credit cards are not generally used in North Korea.

Translated by David Carruth. Edited by Robert Lauler. 

Daily NK works with a network of sources living in North Korea, China, and elsewhere. Their identities remain anonymous for security reasons. For more information about Daily NK’s network of reporting partners and information-gathering activities, please visit our FAQ page here.

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Read in Korean

May 16, 2024 at 12:48PM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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