The U.S.-based Korean banks have once again started the year brightly. The nine Korean banks headquartered in Southern California were able to increase their assets, deposits and loans in the current year’s first quarter.
The combined net profit for the nine banks in the first quarter has surpassed $70 million. That is a 30 percent increase compared to last year’s $54.2 million during the same period.
Notably, three banks have drawn considerable attention—Bank of Hope, Shinhan America and U.S. Metro Bank.
While Bank of Hope’s 40.4 percent increase from the first quarter of last year may seem impressive, that growth is largely attributable to its recent merger. In other words, the recent figure that shows Bank of Hope’s growth is only compared to the net profit of BBCN Bank Corp, one of its predecessors. When compared to the first quarter of last year’s combined net profit between BBCN and Wilshire, Bank of Hope’s net profit has decreased by 5.6 percent.
When looking strictly at numbers, Shinhan America’s first quarter net profit has halved compared to last year’s figures. However, Shinhan America explained that the decrease is due to the normalization of its loans, which has categorized the allowance for bad debts as profits, making their profit this year much smaller than it was previously. For U.S. Metro Bank, its deferred tax assets were included in the profit, which has increased the profit by 700 percent.
◇Assets, deposits and loans
It is not just the profits that have increased. The Korean banks’ assets have increased by $7 billion (38.7 percent) to $24.6 billion over the last 12 months. Even compared to the last quarter of 2016, the recent figure marks a $200 million increase.
The rise in assets is attributable to the steady growth of deposits and loans. The combined deposits for the nine Korean banks have reached $20.3 billion, a 40 percent growth from the $14.6 billion in the same period last year. Even compared to the last quarter of 2016, the figure has taken a $300 million increase.
Loans have also increased by 41.1 percent to $19.7 billion, nearing the $20 billion mark. In the last quarter of 2016, the combined loans were worth $19.5 billion.
Bank of Hope, the first super regional bank in the Korean community, continues to grow on the surface. Its total assets are now at $13.4 billion, a 5.4 percent rise from last year’s $12.7 billion. Its total deposits have also reached $10.7 billion, while loans are at $10.5 billion.
Hanmi Bank and Shinhan American surpassed $4 billion and $1 billion, respectively, in deposits. Pacific Bank also surpassed $1 billion in loans.
By Sungcheol Jin