Sunday, June 13, 2021

business

More applications for pico finance operators as govt cracks down on loan sharks


The number of people applying for pico finance and pico-plus finance operation licences has been constantly rising, Pornchai Triraveja, spokesman for the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) said.

A pico finance operator is one with a capital of at least 5 million baht who is allowed to lend no more than 50,000 baht per borrower. A pico-plus operator has a capital of 10 million baht and can lend up to 100,000 baht per person.

In March, 877 companies from 75 provinces applied for a licence, with the top three provinces being Nakhon Ratchasima (77 applicants), Bangkok (63) and Khon Kaen (51).

Meanwhile, the number of firms applying for a pico-plus licence in March stood at 147 from 46 provinces. Nakhon Ratchasima again led the list with 22 applicants, followed by Udon Thani with nine and Ubon Ratchathani with eight.

“Since the Finance Ministry began accepting applications for both licences since December 2016, pico finance operators have given out 484,638 loans totalling 11.37 billion baht or an average of 23,461 baht per account,” Pornchai added.

As of February, 186,913 loans worth 4.12 billion baht were still outstanding. Of these, 27,981 accounts worth 641.62 million baht were short-term loans for up to three months.

Meanwhile, 31,500 worth 736.04 million baht were non-performing loans.

“From December 2016 to March this year, 9,118 loan sharks have been arrested in police operations, with 214 nabbed in March alone,” he added.

Published : May 14, 2021

By : THE NATION