11 July 2024

The Thai government is expected to announce new measures today to solve the debt problems of Thai people, after it was revealed that, by the end of last year, household debt had soared by 3.7% year-on-year to 13.7 trillion baht, including 1.05 trillion baht in non-performing loans (NPLs).

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who is also finance minister, Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and the national police chief, Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, are expected to hold a press conference today on the new measures to solve indebtedness, among which are those who are still being affected by the impacts of the COVID pandemic, people without fixed incomes, leasing debtors, student loan debtors and those who have NPLs with state-run financial institutions.

Of this staggering 13.7 trillion baht of debt, loans on which payments are overdue for more than 90 days (NPLs), involving about three million debtors, amount to 1.05 trillion baht, representing an increase of 7.7%, while loan payments which are overdue for 31-90 days amount to 610 billion baht, up 17.8% from a year earlier.

Surapol Opasatien, president and CEO of National Credit Bureau, says they are most concerned about debt from car leasing, amounting to 230 billion baht, representing an increase of 28% compared to a year earlier, adding that NPLs from car leasing are increasing quickly, as reflected in the increased repossessions of cars.

They are also concerned about a 7% increase in non-performing housing loans, estimated at 180 billion baht, and personal loans, of which 260 billion baht have been classified as NPLs, up 12%.

Most of the mortgage indebtedness concerns houses worth about three million baht, which means that most buyers are low or middle income-earners who are indebted to state banks.

Surapol said the increased cost of living may be at the root of the problem, forcing many home buyers to default on repayments, adding that about 120 billion baht in housing loans is at risk of becoming NPLs.

Regarding informal borrowing, it is reported by the Interior Ministry that a total of 140,787 debtors, with total debtsamounting to 9.8 billion baht, have registered for help from the government.

Informal debtors still have until the end of this month to register.