SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) — The issuance of high-risk derivatives-linked securities (DLS) in South Korea plunged 31 percent in the first half of 2020 amid the fallout from a misselling scandal, data showed Wednesday.

The local market for DLS, which doesn’t guarantee the principal, came to 12.7 trillion won (US$11.4 billion) as of end-June last year, compared with 16.1 trillion won six months earlier, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service.

A DLS tracks the performance of interest rates, currency values and other underlying assets, promising high returns for risky investors.

The nosedive came after local investors were spooked by local banks’ alleged misselling in 2019 of derivative-linked funds that led to huge losses.

Two local lenders were found to have sold the products linked to overseas interest rates without properly notifying customers of their potential risks.

After its debut in the country in 2005, the DLS market once soared to 17 trillion won before hitting the skids two year earlier.

The financial watchdog said it will keep closer tabs on the DLS market in order to help stem a repeat of the 2019 misselling scandal.