FPO on a mission to tackle high debt, limit borrowing

FPO on a mission to tackle high debt, limit borrowing

Fiscal Policy Office director-general Pornchai Thiraveja
Fiscal Policy Office director-general Pornchai Thiraveja

The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) plans to discourage financial institutions from enticing consumers to unnecessarily create more debt as part of its efforts to curb high household debt levels over the long term.

FPO director-general Pornchai Thiraveja said the government will focus on two missions in tackling high debt levels. First, the office wants to promote financial literacy.

The Finance Ministry is collaborating with state agencies on drawing up financial planning for people of all ages and occupations.

The second is the FPO wants to regulate financial institutions so that if consumers take out loans, the funds must be able to generate revenue back for the borrowers, he said.

Household debt in the fourth quarter last year stood at 14.6 trillion baht, accounting for 90.1% of GDP.

Mr Pornchai said the ministry is also tackling poverty among low-income earners.

The ministry is integrating its state welfare card database with other state agencies such as the Labour Ministry, Education Ministry and the Bank of Thailand to enable it to find better solutions to poverty, he said.

The ministry is also promoting savings awareness among households.

In a related development, Government Savings Bank plans to introduce a 10-year retirement savings package.

The package offers a step-up annual interest rate, beginning with 1.5% for the first three years. The average rate for 10 years is 4.1-4.2%.

The bank has total savings of 2.51 trillion baht at present.

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