Korea’s competition
authority, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTA), has come down
heavily on some of the big-names in the country’s life insurance
industry, dishing out fines totalling KRW365.3bn ($325m) to 16
insurers which it accused of having operated as a cartel between
2001 and 2006.

The KFTA ruled that the
insurers had colluded to fix assumed and credited interest rates on
insurance products sold to individuals.

Samsung Life, the country’s
biggest life insurer, had the dubious honour of receiving the
biggest fine: KRW1.578bn.

Samsung Life was followed by
Kyobo Life (KRW1.342bn) and Korea Life (KRW486m). Far smaller fines
were imposed on the remaining 13 which included foreign insurers
Allianz Life (KRW66m), AIA Life (KRW23m), ING Life (KRW17m) and
MetLife (KRW11m).

All the fines imposed are
potentially subject to change.