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Car and house loans surged in 2018

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The Bank of Thailand says they’re concerned about the double-digit growth in loans for cars last year. The central bank is now monitoring the trend and will keep track of statistics for the rest of 2019. Their concerns about the Thai mortgage market the year before resulted in new regulations coming into effect this April.

Loans for cars were up nearly 13% in 2019, up from 8% growth in 2017 and much smaller growths in the years before.

They reported that commercial bank auto loans rose to 1.07 trillion baht last year, a rise of 12.6% from the previous 12 months. Defaults on loans has also risen during 2018 but the BoT says the rate is still “manageable” at 1.66%.

The BoT says they will need to continually monitor the business of loans for cars for at least the rest of 2019.

Last year they put the spotlight on property mortgages. The study resulted in more stringent conditions for the loan-to-value ratio, especially for second or subsequent housing loans.

Mortgage lending expanded nearly 8% in 2018, compared to 5.5% in 2017. The more stringent requirements for housing mortgages comes into force on April 1 this year.

Generally, the loan sector for commercial banks rose by 6% last year, again a rise from the previous year where the rise was 4.4%.

But the BoT reports that the profitability of the banking sector remains in positive territory. Interest income is now the main source after the fee-based income of some banks, particularly fund transfer fees, declined.

 

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