GSB preps B5bn for jobless

GSB preps B5bn for jobless

Loans aim to employ 100,000 people

People wait in line for services outside the Tao Poon branch of Government Savings Bank during the pandemic. Nutthawat Wicheanbut
People wait in line for services outside the Tao Poon branch of Government Savings Bank during the pandemic. Nutthawat Wicheanbut

Government Savings Bank (GSB) plans to launch a soft loan package worth 5 billion baht next month to help the unemployed, aiming to create 100,000 jobs, says president and chief executive Vitai Ratanakorn.

Loan targets include people laid off after companies or factories shuttered as a result of the prolonged pandemic.

The bank plans to offer soft loans in the range of 30,000-100,000 baht per borrower, depending on their investment plans.

The scheme is expected to help create jobs for 100,000 people, Mr Vitai said.

To qualify for the loan, borrowers must take part in GSB's career training courses.

The bank provides courses for careers applicants request, such as barber or electrician.

Some people might want to buy a franchise licence or open a coffee shop in their community, he said.

Mr Vitai said GSB asked the Finance Ministry to consider subsidising non-performing loans under this programme.

Financial institutions do not typically lend to the unemployed to avoid the high risk of debt default.

The soft loan also meets GSB's obligation as a "social bank", he said.

Once borrowers have sustainable income, they should be able to repay the loan to the bank.

According to the National Statistical Office, as of the second quarter this year, unemployment stood at 2% of the total workforce of 38.8 million, around 760,000 people.

By education level, most of the unemployed had bachelor's degrees.

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