Sunday, September 19, 2021

in-focus

Pico finance operators dole out almost THB13 billion in small loans


Pico finance operators have given out 553,974 loans totalling THB12.69 billion, or an average of THB22,921 per account, the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) reported on Tuesday.

1

View

The loans have flowed to those in need since the Finance Ministry gave eligible operators pico finance and pico plus finance licences from December 2016 until May 2021.

A pico finance operator is one with a capital of at least THB5 million who is allowed to lend no more than THB50,000 per borrower. A pico-plus operator needed to have a capital of THB10 million and could lend up to THB100,000 per person.

“As of May 2021, 198,217 loans worth THB4.23 billion were still outstanding. Of these, 27,432 accounts worth THB627.87 million were short-term loans for up to three months, or 14.8 per cent of total outstanding loans,” FPO deputy director Saphatporn Thammapornphilas said.

“Meanwhile, 32,440 accounts worth THB748.27 million were non-performing loans, or 17.6 per cent of total outstanding loans.”

Saphatporn said that as of June 2021, 885 operators have applied for pico finance or pico-plus finance licences. Of these, 847 have provided loans in 74 provinces, with the top three provinces being Nakhon Ratchasima (79 operators), Bangkok (67) and Khon Kaen (51).

“From December 2016 to June this year, 9,596 loan sharks have been arrested in police operations, with 244 nabbed in June alone,” she added. “If you have information about any loan sharks, contact hotlines 1599, 1567 or 1359.”

Published : July 28, 2021

By : THE NATION