Despite a boost in the benchmark interest rate, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) predicts no increase in bad loans and has advised banks to alter their rates to assist vulnerable groups.
Suwannee Jatsadasak, senior director of the BoT, stated at a news conference that non-performing loans (NPLs) at banks should progressively climb, aided by debt assistance measures. She noted, however, that the agency does not anticipate a cliff of NPLs under the present support measures, referring to substantial debt defaults in a short period of time.
The number of NPLs at banks was at 2.88% of total loans at the end of June, down from 2.93% at the end of March, owing to debt restructuring and bank loan management.
Suwannee stated that the assistance measures are still adequate to assist debtors affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, increased living costs, and higher interest rates. However, vulnerable populations such as low-income workers and small enterprises may still be adversely impacted.
The Bank of Thailand hiked its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75% last week to combat inflation and signaled more modest increases.
According to the BoT senior director, the banking sector remains resilient with high capital levels, loan-loss provisions, and liquidity, and can continue to provide loans to support the country’s economic recovery. (NNT)