By Sucheera Pinijparakarn
Thanachart Bank's new home loans this year missed the target of Bt20 billion because half of the borrowers suspended transfers in the wake of the floods.
“We believe the demand for homes remains but customers are worrying about costs. Developers must also restore customers’ confidence,” Nathapol Luepromchai, senior vice president of TBank, said yesterday.
The bank had projected its business, including mortgage lending, would take off after completing its merger with Siam City Bank on October 1.
However, the flood crisis had a great impact on customers’ decision-making. Last month, more than 50 per cent of its customers delayed transfers.
This hesitation would continue for the rest of the year, so the bank’s new mortgage loans would reach only Bt15 billion instead of Bt20 billion. Outstanding loans at year-end would be Bt78 billion, up slightly from Bt77 billion now.
TBank has 10,000 flood-affected home-loan customers but only 500 with loans of Bt1 billion have asked for relief, because most customers bought units in projects, which are well protected from flooding.
About 70 per cent of its home-loan portfolio is customers of projects, while 30 per cent is customers of home-builders.
Market sentiment and purchasing power are expected to rebound in the first quarter of next year but home loans would not start picking up until the second quarter.
TBank does not expect much growth in mortgages next year, maybe slightly to Bt17 billion-Bt18 billion.
The bank next year would continue to concentrate on working with more than 100 developers, as it believes that developers will quickly restore the confidence of both existing customers and new home-buyers.
The bank will launch a campaign with developers, including a zero interest but the zero-rate campaign will not be long like this year.
TBank expects the policy rate will stay at 3.5 per cent because inflation is still high, unless the economy appears to slow down, in which case the central bank will cut the policy rate to lift the economy, he added.