Deposit-taking company JCG Holdings yesterday gave the market a glimpse of the high consumer bad-debt charges banks are expected to make when they unveil their interim results next month. 'Despite a gradual decline in the number of personal bankruptcy petitions from the group's customers ... bad-debt charges from consumer loans for the six months to June 30 were still high as the Hong Kong economy remained weak with the high unemployment rate,' JCG chairman Teh Hong Piow said. JCG said it wrote off $223.8 million in bad loans in the first half of the year, close to an average of $225.5 million from a poll of analysts. The figure was down 3.8 per cent from $232.6 million a year ago and 8.5 per cent from $244.6 million in the second half last year. Lenders were burned last year when rising unemployment forced many Hong Kong people to default on their unsecured consumer loans. Although the company is small compared with Hong Kong's listed banks, analysts said it gave the market a good idea of the pressure lenders were facing from consumer bad-debt write-offs. Personal loans make up about 75 per cent of JCG's $3.3 billion loan book. Bank of East Asia (BEA) will be the first locally listed bank to unveil its interim results on August 1. DBS Vickers Securities banking analyst Tony Liu said banks were also expected to report high levels of consumer bad debts. 'For banks and [also for] financial companies, we will continue to see very high levels of consumer-related bad-debt charges,' he said. 'In dollar terms, these bad-debt charges have come down but the loan book is also shrinking. 'The percentage charge-off should be more or less similar to the end of last year.' JCG posted a first-half profit of $101.75 million, down 19.7 per cent from $126.65 million in the same period last year. Interest income fell by 7.6 per cent to $373.5 million due to shrinkage in its loan book, which contracted 4.5 per cent in the first six months of the year from $3.5 billion. The company declared an interim dividend of four cents.