According to the financial industry on the 11th, Woori Bank raised the preferential rate of 10 credit loan products by up to 0.6 percentage point and the preferential rate of home mortgage loans by 0.5 percentage point on the 3rd. Raising the prime interest rate in this way has the effect of lowering the loan interest rate.
However, on the same day, the bank raised the additional interest rate to a similar extent, leaving the loan interest rate by product almost at the same level. The additional interest rate is an interest rate item that the bank adds to the index rate in preparation for possible losses during the loan rate calculation process.
On the 3rd, Woori Bank raised the additional interest rate of the ‘Woori Apartment Loan’ variable rate product from 2.80% to 3.26% by 0.46 percentage points in one day. The additional interest rate for the fixed interest rate for the same product was also raised by 0.47 percentage points from 2.60% to 3.07%. It is unusual for a commercial bank to raise the additional interest rate by 0.5 percentage points all at once.
Woori Bank adjusts the additional interest rate at the beginning of every month, but the interest rate on loan products just before (early December last year) fell rather than the previous month. Banks’ risk management and financial authorities’ regulation of household debt are cited as the reasons for the rapid rate adjustment this year. Commercial banks are required to report to the authorities their annual household loan growth target and keep it. Last year, it was enough to adjust the loan growth rate to 5% compared to the previous year, but this year, this figure fell to the 4% level, increasing the burden of loan management.
However, as the supply of loan products partially resumed at the beginning of the year, loans are increasing. Woori Bank has already run out of its January loan, a fixed-rate product, on the 3rd. Eligible loans are long-term, fixed-rate loan products prepared by the Korea Housing Finance Corporation. An official from a commercial bank said, “If the loan interest rate is lowered by the restoration of the preferential interest rate, it seems that they are trying to keep the loan rate at a certain level by raising the additional interest rate by that much for fear that it will increase the demand for loans and make it difficult to manage.”
A Woori Bank official said, “This increase in the additional interest rate is a measure that reflects the risk cost.”
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