Finance Ministry nods to SME Bank’s rehabilitation move


BANGKOK, Feb 12 – The Small and Medium Enterprises Bank (SME Bank) today received a preliminary endorsement for its proposed rehabilitation plan and vowed to continue its operations despite the pending threat of an exorbitant amount of non-performing loans.

Pichai Chunhavajira, SME Bank chief executive officer, said the rehabilitation plan was submitted to Deputy Finance Minister Thanusak Lek-uthai and representatives of the Fiscal Policy Office and the State Enterprise Policy Office.

Mr Pichai, who led the SME Bank team in working on the rehabilitation plan, said the bank also explained on a scheme to deal with non-performing loans (NPLs), an improvement of the information technology system to cope with new lending and organisational restructuring to concentrate more on the bank’s core business.

The deputy finance minister approved the rehabilitation plan and promised to offer policy support to enable the SME Bank to continue its business, he said.

The finance and industry ministries will be regularly informed on progress of the rehabilitation, Mr Pichai said, stressing the SME Bank’s principle to provide financial assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses in Thailand.

He said he was assured by the Fiscal Policy Office that the SME Bank will not be merged with the Government Savings Bank as widely speculated.