The umbrella group of unionized South Korean bank workers said Monday it signed a deal with representatives from their employers to accept the move to raise the annual salary by 2.8 percent this year. The Korean Financial Industry Union said it and the group consisting of bank heads earlier in the day signed a deal on the income raise following four-month-long negotiations. The scale of the increase for this year is smaller than a 3.3 percent increase tallied last year. The bank union previously suggested an 8.1 percent hike, citing their long work hours. Korean banks are facing difficulty as their profitability has been on the decline amid the economic slowdown and a long streak of low rates. Korean banks\' combined earnings fell 48 percent on-year to 1.1 trillion won (US$1.02 billion) in the second quarter, the financial watchdog said.