GSB launches cheap loans for the poor

GSB launches cheap loans for the poor

No collateral needed for 10,000-baht loan

People receive financial services at a branch of the Government Savings Bank. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
People receive financial services at a branch of the Government Savings Bank. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Government Savings Bank (GSB) is launching a low-interest loan that does not require collateral, aiming to help low-income earners prop up their liquidity, says bank president Vitai Ratanakorn.

He said the move is in line with the government's policy of mitigating the prolonged impact of the pandemic on low-income individuals.

The loan will only be available via the bank's MyMo mobile banking app.

Customers can borrow up to 10,000 baht with a monthly interest rate of 0.35%. The bank offered a similar package in 2020-2021 during Thailand's Covid-19 lockdowns.

The loan does not require guarantors or collateral. It offers a grace period on the principal and interest payments for six months. The repayment period is a maximum of two years.

Last year GSB launched 36 financial measures worth a total of 12 billion baht to help customers struggling with the impact of the pandemic. The initiatives potentially cover 11.6 million borrowers, and include loan packages of 10,000 baht and 50,000 baht each.

As of December 2021, GSB had total assets of 3.04 trillion baht, deposits of 2.576 trillion baht, and outstanding loans of 2.27 trillion baht. Last year its new loans stood at 590 billion baht, and non-performing loans made up 2.5% of the total.

In a related matter, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the government is expected to launch new measures this week to ease people's living costs.

He said rising inflation remained a problem for countries worldwide because of spiking oil prices. It remains to be seen if the inflation will affect the Thai economy.

The Fiscal Policy Office has forecast Thai economic growth of 3.5-4.5% this year, at an average of 4%.

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