Banks to suspend debt repayments for some hit by virus curbs

A Government Savings Bank branch is seen in Bangkok's Phaya Thai district on July 2, 2021. (Bangkok Post photo)
A Government Savings Bank branch is seen in Bangkok’s Phaya Thai district on July 2, 2021. (Bangkok Post photo)

Commercial banks agreed to suspend debt repayments for two months for debtors affected by government coronavirus containment measures, the Bank of Thailand said on Thursday, as the country combats its worst Covid-19 outbreak.

The assistance from July will be for retail debtors and smaller companies that have closed down, the central bank said in a statement.

State-owned banks will offer the same support, and the finance ministry will also consider necessary aid for affected businesses still up and running, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said in a separate statement.

The government has imposed several virus restrictions to contain recurring outbreaks and most recently tighter curbs since Monday in Bangkok and nine provinces, including a curfew, travel restrictions and mall closures.

The government on Tuesday approved 42 billion baht of relief measures to help ease the impact of the curbs.

The government stood ready to implement further relief and recovery measures if necessary, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow told a business seminar on Thursday.

“We are monitoring the situation closely, with remedy measures ready,” he said, adding the government had 500 billion baht borrowing to mitigate the outbreak impact. 

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