SEOUL, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korean banks' loan delinquency ratio rose for the second consecutive month due to higher new delinquent loans than bad loan settlements, financial watchdog data showed Wednesday.
Bank loans overdue at least one month came in at 0.43 percent of the total at the end of August, up 0.04 percentage points from a month earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
It marked the highest in three and a half years since February 2020. The delinquency ratio has roughly been on the rise after hitting the bottom at 0.20 percent in June 2022.
New delinquent loans amounted to 2.2 trillion won (1.6 billion U.S. dollars) in the month, higher than the settlement of non-performing loans worth 1.4 trillion won (1 billion dollars).
The central bank had left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.50 percent since January, after hiking it by 3.0 percentage points for the past one and a half years.
Excluding the settled bad loans, the delinquency ratio for fresh bank loans reached 0.10 percent in August, up 0.1 percentage point from the previous month.
The delinquency ratio for bank corporate loans gained 0.06 percentage points from a month earlier to 0.47 percent at the end of August, while the ratio for household loans added 0.02 percentage points to 0.38 percent. ■