Over 289 billion pounds granted by Thai banks to customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

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Thailand’s commercial banks have provided financial assistance, estimated at more than 289.3 billion baht, to their customers affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, according to the president of the Association of Thai Bankers (TBA), Payong Srivanich, today (Thursday).

The move comes amid huge household debt and a subsequent surge in non-performing loans (NPLs).

Aid has taken the form of debt standstills, debt refinancing and asset warehousing, among other measures. 124,250 entities have received aid from banks, including 39.5 billion baht in the form of asset warehousing for 285 companies, he said, adding that several other indebted business operators have shown interest in the project. asset storage program.

In addition, the TBA Chairman said that commercial banks were accelerating the restructuring of long-term debt and providing new financing to various customers, following a credit expansion forecast of around 7.9%, while the economy was gradually recovering from the effects of COVID-19.

Banks, he said, have also prepared financial infrastructure to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to enable them to easily access finance through the supply chain finance program. digital.

He explained that the program is a new platform for digital business transactions, which will eliminate paperwork, concerns about false documents, double financing and speed up transaction processes so that customers have convenient access to financing.

Along with the application of big data, artificial intelligence, data analysis and information from the National Credit Bureau, Payong said it will help improve alternative credit scoring and the efficiency of commercial banks in the provision of financial services to customers, in particular to SMEs.

According to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) at the end of February, Thai household debt in the third quarter of 2021 stood at 14.35 trillion baht, or 89.3% of GDP, with a slightly slower increase of 4.2%, compared to 5.1% in the previous quarter.

Loan repayments less than three months past due amounted to 360 billion baht, or 7.05% of all loans issued, representing a continued increase from previous quarters for almost all loan types. except those in real estate.

Nationally, NPLs accounted for about 150 billion baht, or 2.89% of all loans issued, down slightly from 2.92% in the previous quarter.

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