South Korean banks’ loan delinquency ratio rose in February due to higher lending rate, financial watchdog data showed Tuesday. Bank loans overdue at least one month stood at 0.36 percent of the total at the end of February, up 0.05 percentage points from a month earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service. The delinquency ratio has risen after hitting the bottom at 0.20 percent in June last year. The country’s central bank began to tighten its monetary policy stance in August 2021, hiking its policy rate by 3.0 percentage points to 3.50 percent in January this year. Banks settled 800 billion won (599 million U.S. dollars) worth of non-performing loans in the cited month, far lower than new delinquent loans amounting to 1.9 trillion won (1.4 billion dollars). Excluding the settled bad loan, the delinquency ratio for new bank loans has increased from 0.04 percent in July to 0.05 percent in September, 0.07 percent in December, and 0.09 percent in February, respectively.