Bank of Thailand eases rules on B500bn soft loans

Bank of Thailand eases rules on B500bn soft loans

A model dressed as a Christmas tree and wearing a face shield poses for photos in a shopping mall in Bangkok on Dec 24, 2020. The Bank of Thailand has given small- and medium-sized enterprises a late Christmas present. (AFP photo)
A model dressed as a Christmas tree and wearing a face shield poses for photos in a shopping mall in Bangkok on Dec 24, 2020. The Bank of Thailand has given small- and medium-sized enterprises a late Christmas present. (AFP photo)

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has further relaxed rules on its 500-billion-baht soft loan programme aimed at helping smaller firms cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Given the prolonged Covid-19 situation domestically and internationally, some small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still have insufficient income to support their businesses, the BoT said in a statement issued on Monday.

The BoT adjusted its definition of business groups entitled to seek the funding to give SMEs easier access to the programme, which started in April as part of a bigger coronavirus response package.

The BoT also allowed SMEs to apply for the funding twice, rather than once permitted previously, before April 18 next year, it said.

The loans programme has so far been slow to gain traction, due to what businesses say were tough lending conditions.

The central bank has approved about 123 billion baht of loans so far.

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