Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand predicts 28% loan growth

Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand predicts 28% loan growth

Nartnaree Rathapat, president of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME D Bank), says loan expansion this year is in line with the trend of economic recovery.
Nartnaree Rathapat, president of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME D Bank), says loan expansion this year is in line with the trend of economic recovery.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME D Bank) set a loan target of 90 billion baht this year, up by 28% from 2023, while non-performing loans (NPLs) tallied only 8%, the lowest in 22 years, says president Nartnaree Rathapat.

She said loan expansion this year is in line with the trend of economic recovery.

Last year the bank issued total loans worth 70.6 billion baht, creating a fiscal multiplier of 323 billion baht and generating around 123,000 jobs, said Ms Nartnaree.

The bank's NPLs were in single digits for the second year in a row, with 8.69 billion baht or 8.3% of outstanding loans at the end of last year.

In the past, the bank faced NPLs exceeding 50% of outstanding loans, leading to a state enterprise rehabilitation plan administered by the National State Enterprise Policy Committee.

Regarding SMEs affected by the Covid outbreak in 2020-2021, the bank helped 83,500 SME customers restructure debt worth 145 billion baht in line with the Bank of Thailand's debt assistance measures.

This year, the bank aims to develop the "Core Banking System" to provide money transfer services via an online savings account, providing instant loan repayment as the nation shifts to a cashless society.

Furthermore, she said SME D Bank plans to launch "Development Excellence" next month, a platform for developing smart entrepreneurs under environmental, social and governance principles, offering around-the-clock services such as e-learning, online mentoring and a marketing channel for products and services.

During her four-year tenure ending next month, Ms Nartnaree said the bank has granted loans worth 230 billion baht, creating a fiscal multiplier of 1 trillion baht and generating around 750,000 jobs.

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