SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's bank lending to households logged the highest monthly fall in January due to higher policy rates, central bank data showed Thursday.
Debts, owed by households to the deposit-taking banks, came to 1,053.4 trillion won (834.6 billion U.S. dollars) at the end of January, down 4.6 trillion won (3.6 billion dollars) from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It marked the fastest reduction since relevant data began to be compiled in 2004.
The BOK began to tighten its monetary policy stance in August 2021, hiking its key rate from a record low of 0.50 percent to 3.50 percent.
Home-backed loans to households stood unchanged at 798.8 trillion won (632.9 billion dollars) at the end of January, but credit and other secured loans tumbled 4.6 trillion won (3.6 billion dollars) last month.
Bank corporate loans gained 7.9 trillion won (6.3 billion dollars) in January, after declining 9.4 trillion won (7.4 billion dollars) in the previous month.
Bank lending to the self-employed dwindled 900 billion won (713.1 million dollars) in January amid higher borrowing costs.
Outstanding deposits of banks came in at 2,198.0 trillion won (1.74 trillion dollars) at the end of January, down 45.4 trillion won (36 billion dollars) from a month earlier. ■