GSB keeps merger option
The Government Savings Bank (GSB) will continue to focus on supporting government projects, including possible mergers with the ailing Islamic Bank of Thailand and SME Bank. The bank has targeted non-performing loans (NPLs) at 1.15% of total loans this year. Moreover, it aims to achieve an increase in lending this year of 8.5% or 142.8 billion baht. According to the bank's president and chief executive Worawit Chailimpamontri, mergers with the Islamic Bank and the SME Bank have made no progress, but will be pursued if the government needs GSB as a solution to fix the problem. GSB also plans to open 90 new branches nationwide this year, and to launch new services while upgrading information technology and staff skills.