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(LEAD) Online lenders report sharp increase in net profit in Q3

All News 21:11 November 02, 2021

(ATTN: RECASTS slug, headline, lead; UPDATES throughout with Kakao Bank's earnings; REPLACES photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean internet-only banks said Tuesday their third-quarter profits sharply increased on robust growth in customers and deposits.

K-Bank, controlled by a consortium of telecom giant KT Corp., Woori Bank and 19 other companies, saw its third-quarter earnings more than double from three months earlier.

Net profit came to 16.8 billion won (US$14.3 million) in the July-September period, up from 3.9 billion won in the second quarter, K-Bank said in a regulatory filing.

Three months earlier, K-Bank posted the first quarterly profit since its launch in April 2017, a sharp turnaround from a net loss of 12.3 billion won in the first quarter.

In the first nine months of the year, K-Bank chalked up a cumulative net income of 8.4 billion won, putting the lender on course for its first yearly profit for 2021.

Computer-generated images of K-Bank and Kakao Bank provided by Yonhap News TV

Later in the day, Kakao Bank, affiliated with Kakao Corp., the operator of the country's dominant messaging app KakaoTalk, announced that its net profit in the third quarter increased 28 percent year-on-year to 52 billion won.

Its cumulative net income in the three quarters of the year stood at a record-high 167.9 billion won, up 95 percent from a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The two online banks' robust results were attributed to a jump in the number of customers and the amount of loan deposits.

The number of K-Bank's customers came to 6.6 million as of end-September, up from 2.19 million at the end of last year.

The number of Kakao Bank's customers stood at 17.4 million as of end-September, up from 15.44 million at the end of last year.

K-Bank's customer deposits rose by 8.51 trillion won to 12.31 trillion won over the cited period, with outstanding loans increasing by 3.19 trillion won to 6.18 trillion won.

Kakao Bank's customer deposits increased by 5.525 trillion won to 29.065 trillion won during the same period and outstanding loans increased by 4.725 trillion won to 25.039 trillion won.

In 2017, South Korea permitted the two internet-only banks to offer services around the clock in an effort to inject more competition into the banking sector. Third online lender Toss Bank began operations in early October.

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