Women walk past a row of bank automatic teller machines in a commercial building in Bangkok on September 1, 2020. (AFP / Romeo Gacad)

Misleading claims circulate online that a Thai bank is offering loans without guarantees

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Multiple posts shared on Facebook and on blog sites claim that a Thai commercial bank has offered loans of 50,000 Thai baht without guarantees. The claim is false; the bank’s spokesperson said it does not provide such loan programmes. The Thai central bank’s internal policy documents indicate loans are subject to rules and guidelines and stipulate it must “make a timely assessment of debtors’ ability to repay”.

The claim was published here on Facebook November 18, 2020. 

The Thai-language post’s caption translates to English as: “Bangkok Bank offers loan for 50,000 Thai baht without guarantees.” 

Bangkok Bank is one of Thailand’s leading commercial banks.

The amount of 50,000 Thai baht is equivalent to $1,650.

According to the Corporate Finance Institute, a Canadian provider of online financial modeling and valuation courses, a guarantee is a legal promise made by a third party to cover a borrower’s debt or other liabilities in case the borrower fails to pay a loan at the time it is due. 

Comments from some Thai Facebook users indicated they might have believed the purported loan programme was genuine. 

One person wrote: “Is it true?”, while another said: “It’s true” and another said: “Seriously?”

A similar claim appeared on Facebook here and here

A similar claim was also shared on this blog site on November 17, 2020.

The claim is false. 

In response to the misleading posts, a spokesperson for Bangkok Bank said the claim was “untrue”. 

Aphiwat Punnopakorn, vice president of public relations department at Bangkok Bank, told AFP by Line messenger app on November 23, 2020: “This isn’t true, [Bangkok Bank] doesn’t have this loan programme.”

Although the misleading claim does not specify the type of loan on offer, Aphiwat clarified that Bangkok Bank “doesn’t provide personal loans in spite of good profits as it has high risk, and is prone to bad debt.”

The Bank of Thailand, the country’s central bank, referred AFP to this internal document published by its policy team on February 1, 2018.

It is titled: “Policy Statement on Credit Transaction, Investment in Securities, and Asset Disposal of Financial Institutions”.

One section of the document states: “Financial institutions should set rules or guidelines on supporting documents required for the consideration and reviewing of credit transaction to understand the purpose of the credit request, the use of loan, and the source of repayment, as well as, to make a timely assessment of debtors’ ability to repay.”