KASIKORNBANK (KBank) will continue to provide assistance to its customers after the debt holiday program comes to an end on October 22. It notes that 81 percent of debtors could resume their debt repayment as usual, while the rest may still be unable to make their debt repayment due to liquidity constraints. Therefore, KBank is preparing to aid these cash-strapped clients based on their needs via multiple measures including reduction of monthly debt repayment, suspension of principal payment only, suspension of both principal and interest payment, as well as extension of new loans to ensure their business continuity.
Mr. Krit Jitjang, KBank President, said that a large number of the Bank?s business and retail customers have been facing financial stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since April, KBank has provided assistance to its customers to ease their debt burdens, including reduction of monthly debt repayment, suspension of principal and interest payment, and the offering of financial assistance for liquidity enhancement. Up to now, our business and retail customers have been granted a combined 860,000 million Baht through Phases 1 and 2 of assistance measures. Of that amount, 360,000 million Baht was offered via the debt holiday program, which is set to expire on October 22. KBank has put in place assistance measures for customers participating in the debt moratorium program so that they can keep running their businesses. We have closely enquired with each of our customers regarding their liquidity or cash flow. Having met approximately 100,000 customers, we have found that around 81 percent of them, largely those in the consumer products industry, can now resume debt repayments as usual. However, another 18 percent of them, primarily in the tourism industry, are still in need of assistance ? while the remaining customers have closed their businesses.
KBank continues to help customers who cannot resume debt repayment, with an emphasis on tackling their specific problems rather than offering general assistance. KBank?s assistance measures, therefore, are varied in alignment with industrial conditions and the nature of our customers? businesses. They include: 1) Monthly installment payment reduction, and suspension of principal and interest payments to help reduce customers? expenditures; and, 2) Provision of funding to boost customers? liquidity, such as extending new loans, with a maximum limit of 100 million Baht from financial institutions participating in the Soft Loan Plus program under the Portfolio Guarantee Scheme to their corporate customers; the loan is guaranteed by the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG), with loan term of up to seven years, and suspension of principal payment for a maximum period of two years.
Mr. Krit said in closing that, while KBank has issued assistance measures which serve to relieve debt burdens at present, the interest incurred each month throughout the debt suspension period will continue to weigh upon debtors in the long run. Therefore, those who possess sufficient income to pay off their debts should manage to do so once measures have run their course. Furthermore, business operators? adjustments to find new markets and control costs will remain essential.