Kakao Bank, one of the first internet-only banks launched in South Korea nearly 2 years ago, said Friday that its customer count surpassed 10 million the previous day.
Launched in July, 2017, the online bank owned by Kakao Corp. has been outperforming its industry rival K-Bank in terms of popularity and users.
Kakao and K-Bank are the nation’s only internet banks at the moment, with financial authorities currently mulling the approval of the nation’s third and fourth candidates.
The bank holds deposits worth 17.5 trillion won ($14.8 billion) and dealt with loans worth 11.3 trillion won as of last month, data released by the bank showed. The volume of deposits has increased nearly 20-fold and loans 30-fold, compared to corresponding figures in July 2017.
As a mobile app, most of its customers are in their 20s and 30s – 46.4 percent of the entire users were in their 20s, while 42.8 percent were in their 30s.
Kakao Bank’s assets came to 16.3 trillion won as of the end of March and recorded a net profit of 6.3 billion won in the first quarter of the year.
The lender’s capital meanwhile, stands at 1.3 trillion won, but is projected to increase after its parent company Kakao Corp. becomes a majority shareholder of Kakao Bank, upon the Financial Service Commission’s approval.
Kakao Corp. has been facing obstacles in becoming the largest shareholder of its banking subsidiary -- related laws were revised last year to allow non-financial entities to become major shareholders of internet banks owning stakes up to 34 percent – due to charges of fair trade regulations against Kakao Chairman Kim Beom-su.
Kakao Bank’s shareholders at the moment include Korea Investment Holdings Co., KB Kookmin Bank, eBay Inc. and China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd.
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org