SEOUL, May 30 (Xinhua) -- South Korean banks' lending rate fell for the fifth consecutive month last month due to lower expectations for policy rate hikes, central bank data showed Tuesday.
The weighted average rate for new bank loans stood at an annualized 5.01 percent in April, down 0.16 percentage points from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The BOK left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.50 percent for the third time in May, after delivering seven back-to-back rate hikes for one and a half years through January this year.
It slashed expectations for additional interest rate hikes, leading to lower market rates.
Rate for fresh bank loans to households declined 0.14 percentage points over the month to 4.82 percent in April.
Mortgage loan rate for households dipped 0.16 percentage points to 4.24 percent, and credit loan rate shrank 0.14 percentage points to 6.30 percent.
Rate for bank's new corporate loans retreated 0.16 percentage points to 5.09 percent last month.
The lending rate for big companies slipped 0.18 percentage points to 5.01 percent, and the rate for small companies decreased 0.14 percentage points to 5.14 percent.
The weighted average rate for new bank deposits fell 0.13 percentage points from a month earlier to an annualized 3.43 percent in April, after rising 0.02 percentage points in the prior month.