[THE INVESTOR] Credit card firms saw their card loans gain 8.9 percent in the first half of this year as they stepped up marketing campaigns to sell loans with relatively high interest rates, data showed on Oct. 11.
Outstanding loans extended by seven credit card firms -- Shinhan, KB Kookmin, Woori, Hana, Samsung, Hyundai and Lotte -- stood at 27.1 trillion won (US$23.70 billion) in the January-June period, up 2.2 trillion won from six months earlier.
The figure marked a sharp increase from the 5.4 percent on-year decline recorded in 2017, the Financial Supervisory Service said in a report submitted to Rep. Koh Yong-jin of the ruling Democratic Party.
Analysts attributed the rise in credit card loans to credit card issuers‘ efforts to jack up card loans to offset falling income due to a government decision to cut credit card fees for small merchants.
Also, more people borrowed money from credit card firms after banks implemented stricter loan screenings in line with the government’s push to rein in soaring apartment prices.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (email@example.com)