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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Bank of Thailand (BOT) yesterday accepted requests from financial institutions to offer soft loans to SMEs to improve fluidity and preserve jobs.

Eight commercial banks yesterday filed requests to offer a total of 24.2 billion baht in loans to some 17,000 clients.

Bank of Thailand’s Deputy Governor on Financial Institutions Stability, Ronadol Numnonda said today that banks that have filed for the highest amount in soft loans are Bangkok Bank (BBL), Krungthai Bank (KTB), and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

Soft loans sourced by the BOT will be distributed mostly to individual SMEs, the credit lines of which don’t exceed 20 million baht, accounting for 76 percent of all clients.

Some 80 percent of these businesses are located outside Bangkok, while almost half of them are wholesalers and retailers.

Financial institutions have previously offered assistance packages to some 11 million clients, with total credit of 3.7 trillion baht, most of which was for house mortgages, credit cards, and personal loans.

The Bank of Thailand has set a limit of 500 billion baht in soft loans to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to be offered through financial institutions.

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