Tisco anticipates positive loan growth this year

Tisco anticipates positive loan growth this year

Tisco Bank aims to book positive loan growth for 2022 -- for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19 -- mainly supported by its used-car and corporate loan expansion.

The bank has set total loan growth for 2022 at 5%, which would be the first year to record positive growth since the the slowing down of loan expansion over recent years due to the impact of Covid-19, said Sakchai Peechapat, chief executive of Tisco Financial Group, the holding company of Tisco Bank.

Tisco loans expanded by 0.9% in 2019, then recorded contractions for two consecutive years at 7.4% in 2020 and 9.7% in 2021.

He said selective growth is the bank's key strategy to expand total loan portfolio by 5% this year amid an uneven economic recovery and several uncertainties, in particular the Omicron variant's impact.

This year the bank will focus mainly on used-car loans, car title loans and corporate loans, in line with positive demand of the loan segments.

Automotive and related-vehicle loans are the bank's core businesses, representing the largest portion at 70.98% of total outstanding loans.

As of Dec 31, 2021 the bank's total loan portfolio stood at 202.95 billion baht, of which 112.40 billion baht was auto leasing loan and 31.67 billion baht was car title loan.

Initially, Tisco forecast minimal new car sales for this year in line with economic circumstances, but it needs to wait for exact figures announced by auto makers.

As a result, the bank is mainly concentrating on used-car loan growth rather than new car loans this year. Car title loans also show positive demand. Its total car loan portfolio this year is expected to grow 3-4%.

In addition, Mr Sakchai said demand for corporate loans, especially in the alternative energy and real estate sectors, has been improving.

The environment, social and governance (ESG) trend has been supporting renewable energy investment projects, while the central bank's relaxation of mortgage loans has been encouraging investment in new residential projects. The bank has set double digit growth of corporate loans this year.

Given selective retail loan growth for used-car loans and car title loans, which are high risk segments, the bank's non-performing loans (NPLs) could rise this year. But it would be at a controllable level under the bank's strong risk management, he said.

The bank's NPL ratio peaked at 3.98% during 2020 before declining to 2.5% by the end of the year, continuing to fall to 2.4% at the end of 2021, thanks to debt restructuring measures.

The improving NPL ratio also caused the bank to adjust the loan loss provision from 3.33 billion baht in 2020 to 2.06 billion baht in 2021.

As a result, Tisco booked net profit of 6.78 billion baht in 2021, up 11.84% year-on-year.

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