An ad-hoc parliamentary committee ended its 45-day probe on Friday into an influence-peddling scandal involving savings banks amid criticism that it failed to get to the bottom of the scandal.
The rival parties launched the committee in late June amid a public outcry over corruption at a series of troubled savings banks. Among them were Busan Savings Bank, the nation's largest savings bank, which was found to have bribed officials to avoid punishment for irregularities.
Victims have waged protests in front of the National Assembly over the past weeks, calling for strong action and full compensation. Hundreds of Busan Savings Bank customers have lodged class action suits against bank officials, state regulators and accountants, holding them accountable for fraudulent accounting and lax inspections.
Though lawmakers belonging to the parliamentary investigation committee attempted to call in bank chiefs, state regulators and politicians to parliament to question their roles in the scandal, no such hearings were held due to conflicts over the witness list.
Earlier this week, the lawmakers agreed to seek a special law to reimburse individual customers and bond investors of the nine suspended banks for their losses up to 60 million won ($55,500), which prompted critics to accuse them of bending rules to woo voters ahead of next year's elections.
The current law guarantees only up to 50 million won in deposits.
Rival parties agreed to adopt a final report that vaguely accused the former and incumbent administrations of failing to regulate the savings banks with an effective legal framework.
Wrapping up the probe, the special committee chairman Chung Doo-un of the Grand National Party (GNP) lamented that the parliamentary investigation ended without visible progress.
"It is the most regrettable that (the probe) could not reveal lobbying allegations involving politicians and government officials.
Compensation measures for victims also produced insufficient results faced by the walls of reality, " Chung wrote on his Twitter page earlier in the day. (Yonhap)