The National Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved in principle a bill banning creditors from overcharging interest rate on their debtors beyond the limits permissible by law.
A total of 169 votes were cast in support of the bill and the NLA appointed an 18-member panel to scrutinize the bill within 60 days after which it will be tabled back to the NLA for the second and final readings.
The essence of the bill is that charging an interest rate on loans beyond the legally permissible limits is an offence liable to two years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of 200,000 baht. If the offence is committed by more than two people and it is deemed a threat to public peace, the alleged offenders are liable to four years’ imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of 400,000.
Also, creditors who intentionally specify false amount of loans in loan contracts will face two-year imprisonment and/or a fine amounting to 200,000 baht.
Overcharging interest rates, according to the bill, will be regarded as an offence in accordance with the anti-money laundering law.