More South Koreans than ever are taking out relatively expensive loans from savings banks, amid the government's efforts to clamp down on the country's soaring household debt.
The Bank of Korea said Wednesday that the amount of household loans issued by savings banks surged 21 percent over the past year-- hitting a record high of 20-point-two trillion won by late-July.
Market analysts say that despite the higher loan rates, which are roughly four times those charged by commercial lenders, more borrowers are turning to savings banks as the government tightens lending policies to cool down the overheating property market.
Loans from savings banks make up one-point-four percent of the country's total household debt, which currently stands at one-point-four quadrillion won, or around one-point-two trillion dollars.