GH Bank to extend aid measures to next year

GH Bank to extend aid measures to next year

Government Housing Bank (GH Bank) plans to continue to provide assistance measures to its pandemic-hit customers next year under the guidelines of the Bank of Thailand (BoT), said senior executive vice-president Pongsak Kumnuansiri.

From 2020 until now, the bank has provided financial assistance to borrowers who have taken out loans worth 183 billion baht in total.

The measure was set to expire in October but the bank decided to extend the scheme until the end of this year, he said.

Under the BoT guidelines, the banks can consider lowering the amount of customers' installment payments on a temporary basis if they have been affected by Covid-19.

The banks can also allow borrowers to pay the full amount of the principal but pay only part of the interest, or suspend the principal payment and lower their interest payment.

On Monday, the BoT announced its support for individual borrowers in consolidating their mortgage and retail loan debt held at different lenders into a single institution via refinancing.

Previously, the central bank supported such debt consolidation only within the individual financial institution from which customers had borrowed the amount.

Now either retail or mortgage loans taken out from different lenders can be transferred from one institution to another, or both can be moved to an entirely different lender.

In this mortgage-retail loan consolidation, the central bank sets the interest rate ceiling for the part of such consolidated retail debt, like credit cards and personal loans, at no more than the mortgage rate used after the teaser rate expires, plus no higher than 2% per year.

The BoT expects to see most financial institutions offering the debt consolidation packages to their customers within the end of this year.

Alongkot Boonmasuk, secretary of the Housing Finance Assocaition, said banks had been concerned that housing loans could become non-performing loans if the financial institutes did not wish to continue providing financial aid to borrowers.

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