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Banks told to step up relief efforts for borrowers 

Mar 19. 2020
Central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob
Central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob
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By The Nation

The Bank of Thailand has asked banks to accelerate and widen financial assistance for businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

After the February 28 announcement of the central bank's incentives encouraging banks to offer relief measures to their clients, 30,000 borrowers have seen their debts restructured with a combined value of Bt234 billion through rate reduction and extension of repayment periods, Central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said on Wednesday (March 18).  

Some banks have even set up one- stop service for this purpose, he added. 

However, the number is insignificant when compared to the vast spread of businesses reeling from the Covid-19 impact, he said.

Bankers have been asked to step up and widen relief measures in support of borrowers, especially small and mid-sized enterprises, Veerathai said .

Moreover, they were also told to brace for plan B should the virus spread intensify. For example, they would have to prepare enough cash in case more money are being withdrawn for various purposes. Banks also have to make sure capacities of their electronic payment systems can cope with a sudden spike in transactions, he said.

Central bank will work closely with commercial banks and state-owned financial institutions to ensure smooth functioning of the financial system at this time, he added.

Veerathai held the VDO conference on Wednesday with bankers on the business impact of the virus and its latest development .





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