PM Srettha discusses interest rate cuts with bank chiefs

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Prime Minister Srettha Thavasin convened a meeting with top executives from four major banks to discuss potential interest rate reductions aimed at aiding vulnerable groups within the country. The discussions took place at the Government House at 9am today just before the weekly Cabinet meeting.

PM Srettha, who also serves as Finance Minister, sought cooperation from the leaders of both state-owned and private banks to consider lowering interest rates. Attendees included Phayong Sriwanich, CEO of Krung Thai Bank; Atit Nantawiwat, Executive Chairman of Siam Commercial Bank; Kattiya Indaravijaya, CEO of Kasikornbank; and Chartsiri Sophonpanich, CEO of Bangkok Bank. The meeting lasted for approximately half an hour, after which the executives agreed to deliberate the request.

The Bangkok-born Srettha expressed that the discussion revolved around the economic status of the country and general economic issues. He highlighted the banks’ strong performance and stated this was a time to aid the public, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-entrepreneurs struggling with high-interest rates. The executives, known to the prime minister for decades, were appealed to consider the plight of these vulnerable groups.

The government, seeing the hardships faced by the citizens concerning interest rates, had invited the bank executives during the previous holiday. The meeting was scheduled for today to ensure equality and uniformity in discussions.

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The 62 year old PM emphasised that this was not a competition to see which bank would offer the lowest rates but a collective effort to ascertain how much assistance could be provided.

When questioned about a timeline for a response, the Thai prime minister replied that the matter was treated with mutual respect as they all have known each other for over 20 years, reported KhaoSod.

There was no pressure for a quick resolution: the understanding was clear that each bank would do what was feasible. He hinted that discussions were positive and asked for patience to allow the banks to consider their overall systems and determine the best approach to assist those in need.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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