Bank of Thailand focuses on assistance measures to aid business customers affected by Covid-19

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The Bank of Thailand (BOT) on Tuesday has amended conditions in soft loan decree to be more accessible to a wider range of borrowers, focusing on assisting SMEs in surviving during the pandemic.

The BOT and the Finance Ministry have discussed with related parties to offer financial relief plans that benefit both business owners and the public, said the bank governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput during the senate debate this week.

“The critical issue now is to assist debtors to survive as much as possible,” the bank said in the press release.

The amendments are as follows:

1. Allowing business owners with no credit limits with any financial institution to be able to qualify for rehabilitation loans.

2. Extending the assistance period from two years to five years.

3. Increasing the credit line from 20 per cent of the outstanding loan balance to 30 per cent of the credit limit to offer enterprises with extra liquidity.

4. Exempting debtors’ interest payment for the first six months, and raising it to 2 per cent for the first couple of years with an average interest rate of no more than 5 per cent during the five-year-long scheme.

5. Raising credit guarantee rate from 30 per cent to 40 per cent through the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation, with SMEs with vulnerability receiving a higher rate per capita.

The outstanding balance of the soft loan schemes stood at 20.84 billion baht from 8,218 borrowers as of June 2, with an average of 2.5 million each. The BOT aims to issue loans of 100 billion baht in the next six months.

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