Banks‘ bad debt ratio rises in 1st quarter
The bad debt ratio of Korean lenders rose in the first quarter from the three months earlier as new non-performing loans were reported in shipbuilding and real estate areas, the financial watchdog said Monday.
Non-performing loans at 18 local banks totaled 20.9 trillion won (US$18.3 billion), or 1.51 percent of their total lending, at the end of March, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The figure marks a 0.15-percentage point gain from the previous quarter.
Compared with a year earlier, the ratio fell 0.49 percentage point as banks took steps to wipe out some bad debts.
The quarterly rise was largely attributed to more bad debts in the shipbuilding sector, which has been hard hit by a global slump, the FSS said. Weakness in the local real estate and rental businesses also contributed to the rise in non-performing loans. The arrears rate for property development project financing moved up to 9.09 percent from 8.14 percent in the previous quarter.
Overall bad debt in the corporate sector gained 0.17 percentage point to 1.90 percent.
The ratio of non-performing household loans rose 0.11 percentage point on-quarter, while the figure for mortgage-backed loans gained 0.10 percentage points.
The latest data also showed figures for bad debts on credit cards increased 0.20 percentage point to 1.56 percent, the FSS said.
The watchdog said it plans to keep close tabs on the country's banks' bad debt ratio as part of efforts to reinforce their financial health and capacity to cope with possible future crises. (Yonhap)