Thu, Dec 01, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Chinatrust Bank gets tough with credit

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託銀行) announced yesterday that it will raise the minimum compulsory payment on its credit cards in a bid to counter worsening bad loans caused by credit payment tools.

The nation's largest credit-card issuer said that its credit-card holders will need to pay at least 5 percent of their card bill, up from the current 2 percent, after Jan. 22, before they will be able to activate revolving credit for the remaining outstanding amount.

Problems with bad loans have also put a damper on the nation's cash-advance card segment. The lending balance fell in October for the first time since the product was introduced in 1999. The balance fell to NT$313.3 billion (US$9.35 billion), down NT$1.9 billion, or 0.6 percent, from September, according to statistics released by the Banking Bureau on Tuesday.

Credit accumulated on the nation's 45.74 million credit cards grew steadily by NT$3.6 billion to NT$491.9 billion in October, with an average non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of 2.45 percent, up 0.22 percent.

As of October, the total lending balance of the 47 local banks dropped for the first time this year, by NT$34.3 billion, or 0.21 percent, to NT$16.21 trillion. The average NPL ratio edged up by 0.01 percent from the previous month to 2.81 percent, in relation to a rise in bad loans to NT$455.1 billion, up NT$100 million month-on-month.

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