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Save Money but Lose Weight with Korean Banks

[ 2011-07-15 14:02]     字号 [] [] []  
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Hana Bank, the banking arm of Hana Financial Group, sells an instalment savings product called “S-Line,” a Korean word that means an hourglass figure—just one reflection of the current Korean obsession with being slim and in shape.[1]

The more calories[2] a customer burns, the higher interest rate the bank gives. If a customer loses more than five percent of their weight within a year, or holds a gym[3] membership, the bank grants special rates.

The working-out-for-higher-interest savings account has fetched up 400 billion won ($221 million) from nearly 50,000 customers since 2008.[4]

Other banks take a slightly different tack[5]. Top lender Kookmin Bank, the banking arm of KB Financial Group Inc, launched a smartphone product, taking advantage of the country’s smartphone boom.[6] Customers use this to click on an icon of coffee or a taxi on their smartphone instead of drinking coffee or taking a cab—and directly deposit money.[7]

Woori Bank sells a bicycle fixed deposit, allowing clients to benefit from vowing to ride a bicycle to commute, as communicated with a written statement, or swiping its credit card for public transportation.[8] The bank also provides free bicycle insurance.

For Park, who wants to save money for several years but fears burning a hole in his wallet by following his fitness resolution since many gym memberships in Seoul are expensive,[9] such banks’ plans give him guarded hope. “They all sound very good,” Park said, though he added that he’d have to double check and make sure the plans helped him lose where he wants to—and only there.


1. banking arm: 银行业务分部;instalment savings product: 零存整取理财产品;hourglass figure: 沙漏形体型;in shape: 处于良好的健康状况。

2. calorie: 卡路里,热量单位。

3. gym: 体育馆,健身馆。

4. working-out-for-higher-interest: 为了高利息,卖力减肥,work out意为“筋疲力尽”;fetch up: 产生;won: 韩元,韩国货币单位。

5. tack: 策略,方法。

6. smartphone: 智能手机;boom: 迅速发展,繁荣。

7. icon: 图标;deposit: 存(款),也作名词“存款”。

8. commute: 通勤;swipe credit card for public transportation: 乘公共交通时刷信用卡付费。

9. burn a hole in one’s wallet: 钱在钱包里留不住;fitness resolution: 减肥决心。