Kittirat to mull disbanding SME Bank

The Fiscal Policy Office Monday proposed that Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong disband the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank) and merge it with the Government Savings Bank (GSB).

  • Published: 4/02/2013 at 09:42 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

Mr Kittiratt said he would need to look into the state-run SME Bank’s rehabilitation plans first before considering the proposal.  

Non-performing loans at the SME Bank are currently as high as 30% of total outstanding loans worth about 100 billion baht.

The minister said he had discussed the issue with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and he would make a final decision on whether to accept the proposal.   

Mr Kittiratt said he initially agreed with the proposed merging of the SME Bank with the GSB. However, the bank’s financial problems must be solved urgently, especially those related to NPLs and loans approval done in a non-transparent manner, before taking into account whether the institution should be closed down.  

Finance permanent secretary Areepong Bhoocha-oom said in addition to the SME Bank, the ministry was also concerned about the Islamic Bank of Thailand due to its  high volume of non-performing loans.

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Writer: Wichit Chantanusornsiri
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