Farmers threaten Krungthai Bank

Rice growers on Thursday threatened to withdraw their deposits from Krungthai Bank (KTB) if it fails to offer loans to the rice scheme to meet overdue payments to farmers, reports said.

Wichian Puanglamjiag, chairman of the Thai Farmers Association, said farmers are suffering because the  caretaker government has no money to make payments for rice they pledged several months ago.

The farmers have no money for daily expenses and cannot make overdue debt payments, he said.

“Farmers understand well that the government has been trying hard to find money to make the rice payments,  but no commercial banks or other financial institutions have offered the needed loans.

“This is because they are afraid of the protest leader of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC),  Suthep Thuagsuban, who had threatened that banks that offer loans to the government would face a problem.

“It’s the rice farmers who face negative consequences as a result,” Mr Wichian said.

Suffering farmers from 15 provinces in the Central plains and the lower part of the North, who rallied in Nakhon Sawan on Wednesday, had realised that the banks were afraid of Mr Suthep when they submitted a petition to branches of commercial banks in the province asking them to offer loans to the government’s rice scheme. Most of them did not come out to accept the letter, he said.

Only an employee of the Bank of Ayudhaya’s Nakhon Sawan branch came out to receive their letter, and failed to give a clear answer, saying that approvals of loans were decided by the bank's head office in Bangkok.

What made the farmers feel bad was the screen that appeared on Krungthai Bank ATMs showing a picture of KTB president Woraphak Thanyawong and a statement that,  “Krungthai Bank insists that it has not approved loans for the rice scheme”, the farmers’ leader said.

He viewed the message as an aggravation.

Mr Wichian said as a people’s bank, the KTB, in which the government though the Ministry of Finance is the largest shareholder, should offer loans to the government to help ease the farmers' problems.

If KTB refused to make loans because of a threat by the PDRC, farmers would withdraw all their money from it and deposit it instead in other banks that help the farmers, he said.

He called on the management of KTB to sympathise with the rice farmers.

 PDRC spokesman Ekanat Prompan denied as baseless an accusation by the Pheu Thai Party that PDRC obstructed banks from providing loans for the rice scheme.

Financial institutions’ refusal to offer loans to the government was more like to be because they thought it could  be unlawful and they have to protect their depositors' funds, he said.

Mr Ekanat asked the government and Pheu Thai to refrain from slandering the PDRC.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 13/02/2014 at 06:04 PM
The PTP is telling more lies. The farmers have not been told the court ruled it is illegal for the government to take out any loans while there is a caretaker government. A bank that loaned money to this government would be breaking the law, and could loose all the money they loan out. The PDRC has absolutely nothing to do with it. These are organic election laws.
Discussion 2 : 13/02/2014 at 05:54 PM
Simplistic nonsense. The banks are united in their reluctance to lend depositor's money to a caretaker government for this corrupted scam, They are obliged to follow banking regulations. It is nothing whatever to do with Suthep. That is just more desperate PT lies to simple folk, including a few on this forum it seems.
Discussion 3 : 13/02/2014 at 05:31 PM
I would be worried if I was a Farmer. I would be cautious with my association. Sometimes some people can direct the head into a certain direction in the hope that the body and tail will follow.
Discussion 4 : 13/02/2014 at 04:45 PM
Bankers have a fiduciary duty to their depositors and share holders, this protest is nonsense. Those in Government are smart enough to know this even if the farmers aren't.
Discussion 5 : 13/02/2014 at 04:14 PM
Turns out that the 'rice farmers' who rallied in Nakorn Sawan yesterday were, in fact, 'sugar cane growers' for hire. As for the banks, I have yet to see one who would refuse lending money to a government if such loan was legal. I don't believe that Suthep and the PRDC have sufficient power or influence to prevent banks from lending money. The PTP is running the country on damage-control-mode and they are losing it. They are wasting time trying to deflect the blame on everyone else meanwhile, people anger is growing by the minute. Eventually, heads will have to roll.
Discussion 6 : 13/02/2014 at 04:09 PM
Why should one bank lend money??? Because YS looks so nice?
Discussion 7 : 13/02/2014 at 03:49 PM
Finally, Thai political landscape will be changed. Northern and north-east voters shall be distracted into different factions. Govt's support is going to get slimmer. PTP govt has shown it is situated in some where at the intersection unable to move out of this political crisis that cripples it. Payments owe to farmers are overdue have made some farmers mentally damage seriously. No other organizations and powerful institutions are willing to lend their hands to govt for as an assistance to pull it out of troublesome water. Thai futures are blackened and full of uncertainties. It really needs wisdom to solve it and get out of stagnation.
Discussion 8 : 13/02/2014 at 03:41 PM
"Farmers understand well that the government has been trying hard to find money to make the rice payments, but no commercial banks or other financial institutions have offered the needed loans." This farmer is much closer to the truth of the matter.
Discussion 9 : 13/02/2014 at 03:30 PM
Rice farmers to withdraw their deposits from KTB? What deposits? Most farmers would have already used their savings to survive, and plant another crop, while waiting months for payment for rice pledged and already delivered. Why can't KTB and other banks use some of their liquidity to advance money to farmers with a mortgage against their certificates for security ? Surely some can find it in their corporate spirit (or heart, perhaps) to devise an intelligent and compassionate way forward
Discussion 10 : 13/02/2014 at 03:15 PM
The rice program was supposed to make money for Thailand, along with helping farmers. If it is losing so much money that the government has to borrow from banks and sell bonds (incur debt) to pay for it, then banks are right to say they won't lend for it. They are putting their depositors' money at risk for a program that has no chance of making any money to pay back the loan, and is riddled with corruption. Don't blame the banks. Blame the Shinawatra family.
Discussion 11 : 13/02/2014 at 03:13 PM
Isn't it quality when a state owned bank won't even support the state ! With all respect to the farmers who I have nothing but admiration for, but why would a company (KTB) give a loan to a failed enterprise (the government) out of sympathy ?
Discussion 12 : 13/02/2014 at 03:10 PM
Exactly this is more accurate. Don't be fooled by suthep. Let the government borrow money from banks to pay the farmers under the rice scheme.
Discussion 13 : 13/02/2014 at 03:00 PM
Forget sympathy, this is business. These are government owed debts, and so have the security of any other government debt, and banks should be lending, as that's their business and these debts are secured!
Discussion 14 : 13/02/2014 at 02:57 PM
Farmers should take note that Suthep has threatened banks not loan money to pay them
Discussion 15 : 13/02/2014 at 02:46 PM
If the banks loan the money to the government,they will be going in the same direction as the government. Down and out.
Discussion 16 : 13/02/2014 at 02:41 PM
What a crock! So now the irresponsible and unreliable government has shifted the responsibility for not paying the farmers to the banks. Typical !

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