SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Kakao Bank, South Korea’s second Internet-only bank, said Thursday it has attracted over 1.5 million accounts during the first week of operation, far outpacing the growth of its competitor and traditional banks.
Kakao Bank, led by Kakao Corp., operator of Korea’s dominant messaging app KakaoTalk, started operations on July 27, in the latest move by the government to reinvigorate the nation’s banking sector suffering from weaker growth.
As of 7:00 a.m. Thursday Kakao Bank attracted deposits worth 653 billion won (US$578.8 million) and made loans worth 487 billion won.
The number of accounts at Kakao Bank has already surpassed that of its rival K-Bank, which began operations in April as the nation’s first Internet-only bank.
Last year, traditional banks opened about 155,000 accounts via the Internet or smartphones.
With a paid-in capitalization of 300 billion won, Korea Investment Holdings Co. and Kakao hold a 58-percent and 10-percent stake in Kakao Bank, respectively.
Kakao’s consortium also includes Kookmin Bank, eBay Inc. and China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd.