Thailand: Banks bump up interest

Banks began to raise interest rates in response to the Bank of Thailand’s policy rate hike to 1% on Wednesday.

Kasikornbank (KBank) said on Friday it will raise the minimum lending rate (MLR) and minimum overdraft rate (MOR) by 0.25%, effective from Oct 3.

After the hike, the bank’s MLR will rise to 5.72% per year and MOR to 6.09%. Both refer to rates that lenders charge major borrowers.

KBank, the country’s second-largest lender by total assets, will maintain the minimum retail rate (MRR) it charges retail borrowers at 5.97%.

The bank also indicated it plans to raise fixed-deposit rates across the board by 0.10-0.50%, effective Oct 3.

Presently, its time-deposit rates for 3-12 month offerings are in the range of 0.32-0.4% per year.

The bank plans to keep its savings deposit rate at the existing level of 0.25%.

KBank co-president Krit Jitjang said the bank is maintaining the MRR to ease the financial burden of individual borrowers amid rising inflation.

The bank will raise the loan rates on a gradual basis, in line with the Bank of Thailand’s gradual policy rate hikes, to support economic recovery in the longer term, he said.

KBank will also increase the fixed-deposit rate to support the purchasing power of consumers as inflation rises, said Mr Krit.

TMBThanachart Bank (ttb) announced on Friday it is raising both the deposit and loan rates, effective today.

The bank plans to raise the MRR by 0.20%, the MLR by 0.25% and the MOR by 0.25%. It is also increasing the fixed-deposit rate in a range of 0.15-0.80% per year.

Chief executive Piti Tantakasem said ttb continues to focus on taking care of all customer groups, especially retail borrowers.

The bank wants to raise loan rates on a gradual basis to help customers adjust and be able to manage their liquidity, he said.

The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee raised the policy rate for the second time this year on Wednesday in a bid to contain elevated inflation.

Shortly after the move, Bangkok Bank (BBL) announced on the same day the hike of both deposit and loan interest rates, effective from Sept 29.

BBL raised the deposit rate to a range of 0.15-0.50% per year, while the MLR was increased by 0.40% per year, the MOR by 0.375% and MRR by 0.30%.