Three months of not doing business.
That's the punishment KB Kookmin Card, NH Nonghyup Card and Lotte Card will get for their involvement in the biggest personal data leak in Korean history.
The Financial Supervisory Service said Friday a proposed suspension of business at the three companies will start Monday and continue to May 16th.
The main focus of the suspension is on banning the companies from taking on new customers.
Providing credit card loans and cash advances to new contractors will also be forbidden.
Existing customers, however, won't feel the effects of the ban, as they will be provided with financial services as usual.
The suspension will also exclude operations related to the public interest, such as the issuance of student identification cards.
In the end, the suspension is expected to cost the three companies 100-thousand clients a month and a combined 50 billion won, or 47 million U.S. dollars, during the three-month period.
An official at the Financial Services Commission referred to it as the harshest penalty the firms could have received, not only because of the losses incurred but because three months is the longest suspension allowed by law.
The suspension is expected to be finalized by the FSC at a meeting on Sunday, and in the coming month, the FSC will also consider recommendations for dismissals of CEOs and executives deemed responsible for the leak.
In related news, a suspension of telemarketing operations at financial and insurance companies, put in place as a preventative measure at the end of last month, was lifted on Friday, thanks to indemnity reports submitted by company executives.
Kwon So-a, Arirang News.