GH Bank gives nod to diversity

GH Bank gives nod to diversity

LGBTQ+ groups participate in 'Bangkok Naruemit Pride 2022' event in the capital on June 5. The event is aimed at boosting gender equality. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul
LGBTQ+ groups participate in 'Bangkok Naruemit Pride 2022' event in the capital on June 5. The event is aimed at boosting gender equality. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

State-run Government Housing Bank (GH Bank) is letting LGBTQ+ couples jointly take out a mortgage loan, said bank president Chatchai Sirilai.

It is the first time the bank has introduced such a policy, with the aim of giving LGBTQ+ couples easier access to mortgage loans as part of its aim to help Thais own their own home.

GH Bank previously limited co-borrowing to couples or persons with kinship relationships. Under the new policy, LGBTQ+ partners who live together can now jointly take out a mortgage loan.

The bank has also launched a new mortgage package dubbed My Pride, offering the minimum retail rate minus 2.40% per year in the first three years. The maximum instalment period is 40 years. Customers can apply for the loan from now until Dec 30 this year.

As of the end of May, GH Bank had extended loans worth 106 billion baht in 2022, with a target of lending 226 billion baht in total this year.

Mr Chatchai believes GH Bank's lending could reach 280 billion baht this year, in line with high demand for mortgage loans.

A woman walks pass a poster advertising Pride Month 2022 in June 2022 at Samyan Mitrtown. Somchai Poomlard

The bank's non-performing loans stood at 4.35% of total outstanding loans at the end of May.

GH Bank is one of the state-run banks vowing to try to maintain current interest rates as long as possible amid expected hikes in the second half of this year.

The bank expects the Bank of Thailand to raise the policy rate by no more than a total of 50 basis points this year.

GH Bank's board of directors recently approved the bank's plan to raise its interest rate by an amount lower than the market rate. For an example, if the market rate is raised by 0.25%, the bank will lift its own rate by 0.15%.

If the central bank raises the rate in August, GH Bank will do so in October. If the central bank lifts the rate at the end of this year, GH Bank will increase its own rate in early 2023.

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