Thursday, July 09, 2020

KBank helps out with stipend for frontline medics, 0% loans to SMEs

May 05. 2020
KBank's chairman emeritus Banthoon Lamsam announces the launch of two new projects to help society pull through the Covid-19 crisis.
KBank's chairman emeritus Banthoon Lamsam announces the launch of two new projects to help society pull through the Covid-19 crisis.
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By THE NATION

In a move to boost the morale of medics at the Covid-19 frontline and to lend a helping hand to struggling small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), Kasikornbank (KBank) has launched two special projects, the bank’s chair emeritus Banthoon Lamsam said.

The two projects are “Special Stipend for Frontline Medical Personnel” and “Zero Interest-rate Loan to Retain SME Staff”.

The first project will be implemented in 45 hospitals in the five southernmost provinces of Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and Satun, where the risk of Covid-19 transmission is very high.

Under the project, medical personnel will each receive Bt4,000 per month for three months from May onwards. As much as Bt300 million has been earmarked for this project, which aims to help up to 20,000 personnel.

Banthoon said medical personnel are the key pillar of response in the fight against the virus, and they work with dedication to care for the general public regardless of their race and religion.

The stipend project is being administered by the Kasikornthai Foundation in collaboration with the public health offices in Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and Satun, as well as the Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkhla University.

As of April 30, 5,083 medical personnel stationed at the 45 hospitals were classified as a high-risk group with exposure to the virus, which makes them eligible for the stipend.

The bank has concurrently launched the “Zero Interest-rate Loan to Retain SME Staff” project to help small businesses with fewer than 200 employees.

Under the scheme, business owners can take a 10-year loan at zero percent with no collateral and a year’s grace for principal repayment. The aim of this loan is to help maintain workers’ income and upkeep of the business.

The limit for each SME depends on its number of employees. Each employee will be given Bt8,000 per month for three months, while the loan limit is Bt1 billion. More than 1,000 SME operators have applied for this scheme and it is expected that 41,000 jobs will be saved.

Only SMEs employing fewer than 200 staff members and using KBank’s services for several years are eligible for the scheme.

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