The portion of local banks' household loans with fixed rates declined in July from the previous month despite the government's push to mend the banking practice of extending floating loans, data showed Monday.
Local banks' household loans with fixed rates accounted for 23 percent of all outstanding home lending as of end-July, down from 23.2 percent at the end of June, according to data compiled from local banks.
The portion of banks' household loans with fixed rates had been on the rise on the back of the financial regulator's push for a soft landing of household debt problems. The weight of such lending surpassed the 20 percent level for the first time in January.
The regulator has been urging local banks to extend home loans with fixed lending rates as part of its drive to fix the banks' lending practices.
The bulk of banks' mortgage loans are extended with floating lending rates, making households more exposed to higher debt-serving burdens if market rates rise.
But the portion of home loans with fixed rates declined in July for the first time in 26 months, mainly because a fall in the benchmark lending rate dubbed COFIX lured more customers, industry watchers said.
COFIX is determined by averaging interests paid on capital funding by nine major lenders and is made public on the 15th of every month. COFIX is used as the benchmark for floating lending rates.
South Korea's household credit totaled a record high of 980 trillion won (US$901.2 billion) as of end-June. Korean households' high indebtedness is cited as the main bugbear for policymakers as it is feared to crimp consumer spending, hurting economic growth.