SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- Banks in South Korea saw their financial health improve slightly last year, helped by modest gains in profits, data showed Monday.
The average capital adequacy ratio of 19 commercial and state-run banks stood at 15.35 percent as of the end of last year, up 0.11 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
The FSS attributed the rise in the capital adequacy ratio to improved profits.
A key barometer of financial soundness, the ratio measures the proportion of a bank's capital to its risk-weighted credit.
The Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS), an international organization of central banks, requires lenders to maintain a ratio of 8 percent or higher.
In a statement, the FSS said banks' capital ratio has been "consistently on the rise since 2015 and remained stable compared with BIS requirements. By contrast, the leverage ratio declined from a year earlier."
Last year, Citibank Korea Inc. posted the highest capital adequacy ratio among South Korean banks at 19.01 percent, while that of two Internet-only banks -- K-Bank and Kakao Bank -- stood at 16.53 percent and 13.85 percent, respectively.
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