KBank focuses on mortgages
Kasikornbank (KBank), the country's second largest lender by assets, is focusing on mortgage refinancing as it aims to improve loan quality and tap new customers.
The decision comes as Chinese demand for Thai residential property winds down, said KBank president Kattiya Indaravijaya.
The bank's growth target of 6% for housing loans is believed to be reachable, while demand for loans was brisk during the first two months of the year as buyers rushed to transfer homes ahead of the Bank of Thailand's new lending curbs taking effect on April 1.
Under the central bank's tougher regulations, homebuyers who purchase a residential unit priced lower than 10 million baht and seek a second or subsequent home loan will be required to make a down payment of at least 10% if they have paid for the first mortgage for three years or longer.
The minimum down payment requirement will be raised to 20% if borrowers have serviced the first mortgage for less than three years.
For those seeking a first or second mortgage for a home priced at 10 million baht or higher, a minimum 20% down payment is required.
Those who apply for third and subsequent mortgages will be subject to a minimum 30% down payment, regardless of home price.
The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 90-100% remains unchanged for those who apply for a first mortgage to buy a home priced below 10 million baht, but the ratio will be lowered to 80% when a borrower buys a residence valued at 10 million baht or higher.
"The bank aims to extend new [housing] loans worth 16 billion baht in the first quarter and 66 billion for 2019," Ms Kattiya said.
"The bank has also adopted big data to screen customers to improve quality. Online housing loans are being studied, but we cannot identify when the service will be available."
KBank has launched two promotional campaigns: mortgage refinancing with a special interest rate and a waiver of mortgage fees up to 200,000 baht; and home equity refinancing with an interest rate of one percentage point on top of the minimum retail rate (MRR) for the first two years, and 0.5 percentage point minus MRR thereafter.
KBank's new home loans reached 74 billion baht last year, with loans outstanding surging 12% to 280 billion.