Krung Thai Card Plc (KTC), the country's largest credit card operator, has tightened its lending rules to prevent damage from non-performing loans (NPLs).
Chief executive and president Rathian Srimongkol said the move was in response to the Bank of Thailand's warning about growing household debts.
He said KTC has improved its management of bad debts by cutting its billing cycles down to 30 days from 45 days.
The company plans to install a new information technology system in preparation for the new billing cycle, which will be effective from March 1.
KTC is also introducing a new NPL classification system.
Mr Rathian said the new method of calculating NPLs would help to strengthen its balance sheet and improve management of bad loans.
He insisted the new system would not affect customers' debt payments but would rather encourage cardholders to pay debts on time.
"If the customer delays debt payment, he or she will be charged and the company has to set aside more for loan loss reserves. We have informed customers about the new NPL classification system," Mr Rathian said.
Under the new system, KTC expects to book higher NPLs for credit cards of 0.3-0.4% at the end of the first month, but the situation should return to normal after a few months.
Its level of NPLs is lower than the industry's average of 3%.
Stronger management of bad debts is viewed as crucial because of global economic uncertainties, while both the Bank of Thailand and the National Credit Bureau are concerned about the country's high household debts.
KTC also wants to pay more scrutiny to asset quality this year.
"We have to balance asset quality and loan growth under the country's strong economic momentum while global economic uncertainties remain," Mr Rathian said.
About the author
- Writer: Somruedi Banchongduang
Position: Business Reporter