Hyundai Capital's assured handling

The wreckage of Korea’s credit card crisis in 2003 left Hyundai Capital with few competitors in the card business, thanks to the company’s strong risk management.
Ju Jyuk Lee, CFO of Hyundai Capital
Ju Jyuk Lee, CFO of Hyundai Capital

Back in 2003, the typical Korean worker was the proud owner of four credit cards. With pretty girls in miniskirts handing out applications on street corners and 7-Eleven stores, the country’s collective debt soon soared to $100 billion.

The boom in credit card issuance had been inspired by a simple idea give people enough credit and they will eventually have no choice but to spend it, which in turn will stimulate the economy. It was a simple idea that didn’t work. Instead, filling people’s pockets with debt only led to trouble, and eventually to Korea’s crippling credit card crisis.

Two years earlier, in October 2001, Hyundai...

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