The Korea Herald


Loan shark lending surges 52% in 3 years

By 박한나

Published : Sept. 27, 2016 - 15:49

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[THE INVESTOR] Loan sharks are widening their reach in South Korea with the amount of loans provided by them increasing by 52 percent over the past three years, data from the country’s financial watchdog showed on Sept. 27.

The total outstanding balance of loans extended by private moneylenders stood at 13.26 trillion won (US$12.07 billion) last year, from 8.70 trillion won in 2012, according to Financial Supervisory Service.

The maximum interest rate that a private loan provider can legally charge is 27.9 percent, nearly 10 times higher than 2.96 percent, the rate that commercial banks offer for household loans. 

The data also showed that the number of newly registered loan sharks, including their branches, soared to 3,285 this year from only 75 in 2012.

By Park Han-na (