Credit and cash card lending continued to shrink in January amid mounting consumer bad debts, the Financial Supervisory Commission said yesterday.
The total revolving credit balance for credit cards decreased for the second straight month, falling by 0.26 percent to NT$493.4 billion (US$15.2 billion) in January, the commission said in a statement.
The volume of credit cards in circulation dropped for a fourth month, falling by 0.84 percent to 45.1 million cards over the same period, with non-performing loan (NPL) ratio rising to 2.75 percent in January from 2.44 percent in December, the statement said.
The cash-card lending balance slid for a fourth month, falling by 3.12 percent to NT$298.2 billion while the volume of cash cards in effect declined for the seventh month in a row, dropping by 4.01 percent to 3.35 million in January.
The ratio of defaulted loans on cash-advance cards increased by 0.64 percentage points from December to 2.48 percent in January.
The consumer bad-loan issue also worsened asset quality among lenders, with NPLs at 45 local banks edging up to 2.31 percent on average in January from 2.24 percent the previous month, the commission said.