January 31, 2024
BANGKOK – Thai commercial banks are now stepping up to restructure 6.1 million outstanding loans worth a combined 3.4 trillion baht, so they can be repaid, the Thai Bankers Association said.
TBA president Phayong Srivanich said on Tuesday that the association’s members have been helping debtors who have been having trouble repaying their debts since the Covid-19 pandemic. There are now some 6.1 million such accounts that have become or will soon become non-performing loans (NPLs).
Phayong said TBA will help these vulnerable debtors in line with the policy of responsible lending. He added that debtors, who have not yet defaulted on loan repayment but are in difficulty, and those who have defaulted on their instalment once, will be eligible for debt restructuring.
Those who have entered the NPL status will be helped to repay their debts within five years, and the banks will reduce their interest rate to 15% per annum.
Meanwhile, penalties for repaying early will also be waived for those who have entered the debt restructuring programme, Phayong added.
He said customers can call their banks to seek advice on debt restructuring.
Phayong added that the TBA would create a database of alternative credit information, such as records of utility service payments and vendors’ income, to allow those without normal credit to obtain bank loans, so they would not have to opt for high-interest loans from lenders outside the system or loan sharks.
The TBA will also have its members advise customers on financial discipline, so they would not overspend on non-necessary items, he added.