(LEAD) Online lender K-Bank’s H1 net hits record high

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SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) — South Korean online lender K-Bank reported Tuesday that it posted the best performance of all six months in terms of increased interest income.

K-Bank’s first-half net profit was 45.7 billion won ($34.9 million), well above last year’s annual net profit of 22.5 billion won and marking the highest first-half profit since its launch in 2017, according to bank data. .

The online lender attributed the record revenue to more account openings, expanding loan portfolios and diversifying profit sources.

Interest income in the first half hit a record 172.1 billion won, helped by rising interest rates.

Internet-only banking reported strong growth in mortgages, in particular.

At the end of June, its secured lending plans’ share of total lending stood at 21.1%, up sharply from 13.7% a year ago.

But its second-quarter net profit fell to 21.3 billion won from 24.5 billion won a year earlier, the bank said in a statement.

The decrease in quarterly net profit results from the increase in provisions for bad debts.

In July, the Bank of Korea raised its key rate by 0.5 percentage points to 2.25%, the largest and the sixth increase in borrowing costs since August last year.

K-Bank, South Korea’s first internet-only bank that began operations in 2017, is controlled by a consortium of telecommunications giant KT Corp., Woori Bank and 19 other companies.

The number of K-Bank customers stood at 7.83 million at the end of June, up 0.66 million from six months ago.

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