] Kakao Bank, South Korea’s second Internet-only bank, has emerged as the leading provider of household loans this month, far outpacing its sole competitor and traditional lenders, data showed on Aug. 16.
According to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service, Kakao Bank saw its household lending increase by 540 billion won (US$473 million) in the first 11 days of this month, the largest amount among 19 lenders in the country.
It accounted for 24.9 percent of the 19 lenders’ combined household lending estimated at 2.17 trillion won during the period.
Shinhan Bank placed second with 400 billion won in household loans extended, followed by KB Kookmin Bank with 300 billion won.
South Korea’s first Internet-only lender, K bank, led by biggest fixed-line Internet operator KT
, posted an increase of a mere 3 billion won.
As of Aug. 11, Kakao Bank, which started operations on July 27, had 900 billion won in cumulative household lending.
In the year up to Aug. 11, the 19 banks’ cumulative household lending rose by 31.89 trillion won, with KEB Hana Bank chalking up the largest 5.95 trillion won.
Kakao Bank, controlled by Kakao
, the operator of Korea’s dominant messaging app KakaoTalk, has been fast gaining popularity among local mobile-savvy customers, attracting more than 1.5 million accounts during the first week of operation.
The Internet-based lender set sail as part of government efforts to give a shot in the arm to the nation’s banking sector suffering from sluggish growth.
By Alex Lee and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org