Bank boss also points to clients switching banks seeking stability at this uncertain time as the reason for its surprise growth in funds held. The bank is offering special, more attractive deposit rates for digital and online banking products.
Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank has seen a surprising surge in deposits in the first three months of the year and sees it as a trend with account holders and businesses hedging their position to the current emergency.
The boss of one of Thailand’s leading banks, Siam Commercial Bank, has revealed a surprising boost in the bank’s level of deposits in the first quarter of 2020 driven by the Covid 19 epidemic.
The President of the bank, Apiphan Charoenanusorn, also attributes the surge in deposits to greater awareness of the bank’s online banking platform which is a market leader in Thailand.
Business and account holders liquidating capital and bond holdings, transferring proceeds into cash
Another driver was a trend among businesses towards the liquidation of capital and bond assets during this unpredictable and uncertain time for markets.
She explained that deposits at the end of March 2020 stood at ฿2.27 trillion, up 5.4% from the end of last year and up 7.5% on the balance from the same period in 2019.
‘The individual client segment is depositing more money in regular savings deposits, SCB EZ savings deposits, and e-passbooks. Because EZ Savings Accounts and E-Passbooks provide higher interest rates than regular savings deposits, we believe E-Passbook deposits will grow significantly in the same direction with local digital banking expansion in the future,’ she explained.
Customers moving from smaller banks
Ms Apiphan also disclosed that Siam Commercial Bank had benefited from a move by individual account holders in Thailand as well as business concerns switching from smaller and medium-sized banks to her bank which is seen as offering more stability and certainty.
She said that inflows were also heightened and linked with increased volatility in the capital and bond market.
At the end of the first quarter, the bank’s current account and saving account balances represented 73% of all deposits, up from 67% last year.
Bank working to grow deposits further
Notwithstanding this, the bank, she said, was now actively working to enhance the growth of deposits further while also serving its existing clients.
Bank customers who use e-passbooks are being offered more attractive interest rates than those using regular savings accounts.
High-interest rates on digital products
The bank also has digital deposit facilities which offer higher interest rates than regular deposit accounts.
Siam Commercial Bank highlighted that such digital banking and online bank services act as a key contributor to social distancing at this time which assists Thailand in its fight against the Covid 19 menace.