Posted by: rbbadger | September 13, 2008

My bank

When I came to Korea this time around, I opened up a new account with a new bank.  While I had no problems with Kookmin Bank, their branch was a bit of a distance from me.  Seeing as Nonghyup Bank was right within easy walking distance from the school, it was an ideal candidate.  I’ve been pretty happy with them so far.  Unlike most of the Korean banks, Nonghyup is a cooperative, specifically, an agricultural cooperative.  However, it is a very unique credit union, in that not only do they provide a wide variety of financial services, they also sell fresh fruit, vegetables, rice, tea (Korea is a major producer of green tea), seaweed (an important part of the Korean diet), kimchi, ginseng (which according to some cures everything from AIDS to cancer if kimchi doesn’t work), and other things grown on farms throughout the nation right in many of their branches.  I can do some of my food shopping and pay my bills all in one trip.  You don’t have to be a farmer to open an account with them, or even a Korean!  Nonghyup is now one of the largest banks in the country.  In some ways, they’ve been far more easy to deal with than my old bank, Kookmin.  You can see the variety of stuff they offer by clicking here.  Can you buy freshly grown pears the twice the size of a human fist at Altier Credit Union?  I didn’t think so.  (You really have to see the size of the pears that grow in this country.  They are really, really huge.  Surprisingly, though, watermelons are quite small here, at least in comparison to what we’re used to in the USA.  One would think that a country which routinely produces such huge fruits could produce some massive watermelons.  The grapes are really big, too.  Also, I must say that I’ve not been terribly impressed by Korean corn.  Nothing beats fresh Nebraska corn, though Snowflake corn can give it a run for its money.)

There are other credit unions, such as Suhyup (National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives).  I’ve dealt with Suhyup in the past and have not noted fresh squid for sale in the bank lobby, though they do have seafood stores in many places in the country.



  1. i love pears! i’m going to put that in the suggestion box and the credit union. ha ha! mmmm corn. that’s some good stuff. i am really enjoying all the pictures you have on here too! so many beautiful things in korea.

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