Taipei, Aug 15 (CNA) Credit card spending in Taiwan hit a five-year high in the first half of 2022 as local consumers showed renewed willingness to spend as concerns over COVID-19 eased, according to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).
Credit card spending topped NT$250 billion ($8.33 billion) in June for a second consecutive month, bringing total spending in the first six months to NT$1.54 trillion, up of NT$108.4 billion from the first half of 2021, according to FSC data.
This is the second highest total for the first half of the year since similar credit card data was first compiled in 2018, trailing just NT$1.596 trillion during the same period. period of 2019, according to the FSC.
In June alone, credit card spending reached NT$264.4 billion, up NT$6.4 billion from May.
Tung Cheng-chang (童政彰), deputy director of the FSC Banking Bureau, said the rise in credit card spending in June reflected a recovery in credit card spending for travel, dining and online shopping. due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. relaxed.
The number of COVID-19 cases in June was still in the tens of thousands, with more than 100 deaths a day, but consumers were less worried as they believed the outbreak had peaked in late May or early June and the Omicron variant was not as lethal as previous variants.
Looking at individual banks, spending with Cathay United Bank credit cards topped all banks at NT$43.7 billion in June, ahead of CTCB Bank at NT$41.1 billion and E Sun Commercial Bank at NT$36.5 billion.
Cards issued by the three private banks accounted for nearly 46% of all credit card spending in Taiwan in June, according to FSC data.
CTBC Bank issued over 100,000 new credit cards in June, making it the largest credit card issuer in Taiwan for the eighth consecutive month, ahead of E. Sun Bank with 80,000 new credit cards issued and Cathay United Bank with 56,000 new credit cards issued.
For the first six months of 2022, spending with credit cards issued by Cathay United Bank led all banks at NT$253.3 billion, followed by CTBC Bank with NT$241.3 billion and E. Sun Bank with NT$212.3 billion, according to FSC statistics.
At the end of June, a total of 53.90 million credit cards were in circulation in Taiwan, up 0.45 percent from the previous month and also up 5.27 percent from a year earlier, the agency said. FSC.
The credit card debt non-performance rate averaged 0.18% at the end of June, down 0.01 percentage points from the previous month and 0.05 points percentage over the previous year, the FSC said.