11 July 2024

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

The move comes amid massive amounts of household debt and a subsequent resulting sharp increase in Non-Performing Loans (NPLs).

The assistance has been in the forms of debt moratoria, debt refinancing and asset warehousing, among other measures. 124,250 entities have received help from the banks, including 39.5 billion baht in the form of asset warehousing for 285 businesses, he said, adding that several other indebted business operators have expressed interest in the asset warehousing program.

Moreover, the TBA chairman said commercial banks are accelerating long-term debt restructuring and providing new funding to various customers, following a credit expansion forecast of about 7.9%, as the economy gradually recovers from the effects of COVID-19.

The banks, he said, have also prepared financial infrastructure to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to enable them to gain easy access to funding through the Digital Supply Chain Finance scheme.

He explained that the scheme is a new platform for digital trade transactions, which will do away with paperwork, concerns over fake documentation, double financing and will accelerate transaction processes so customers get convenient access to funding.

Along with the application of Big Data, artificial intelligence, data analytics and information from the National Credit Bureau, Payong said that these will help enhance commercial banks’ alternative credit scoring and efficiency in providing financial services to customers, SMEs in particular.

According to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) in late February, Thailand’s household debt in the third quarter of 2021 amounted to 14.35 trillion baht, which is 89.3% of GDP, with a slightly slower increase of 4.2%, compared to 5.1% in the previous quarter.

Loan payments which are overdue for no more than three months amounted to 360 billion baht, accounting for 7.05% of all the loans issued, which is a continual increase from previous quarters for almost all types of loans, except for those in real estate.

Nationwide, NPLs accounted for approximately 150 billion baht, or 2.89% of all loans issued, which is a slight drop from 2.92% in the previous quarter.