Banks’ rate for fresh loans edges up in May

SEOUL, The average lending rate of major banks in South Korea rose slightly from a month earlier in May, ending five consecutive months of decline, data showed Monday.

COFIX, or the Cost of Funds Index, a benchmark lending rate for mortgage loans, came to 3.56 percent last month, up 0.02 percentage point from a month earlier, according to the data from the Korea Federation of Banks.

The rate had been on a steady decline since December.

The COFIX rate for outstanding loans, on the other hand, slipped 0.02 percentage from a month earlier to 3.74 percent in May, extending its declining streak to the seventh consecutive month.

COFIX is calculated based on the cost of information on funds provided by eight domestic banks in South Korea. They are Nonghyup Bank, Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Korea, Hana Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Kookmin Bank and Citibank Korea.

Source: Yonhap News Agency