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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        25  June  2011

Thai accounts protected

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An estimated 98.5 percent of Thai savings accounts will still be protected by the Deposit Protection Agency (DPA) after it caps coverage for bank deposits at 1 million baht in August 2012, says director Singha Nikornphan.

Since 2008, the agency has offered an unlimited guarantee on deposits. On August 11 of this year, the protection on deposits will be capped at 50 million baht per depositor per financial institution. One year later, it will drop to 1 million baht per depositor per financial institution.

There are 107 countries worldwide that apply deposit protection, and all of them opted to develop the same system that gradually reduces protection.

Deposit protection is essential as it encourages people to trust the financial system even when there are liquidity problems.

The 1 million baht limit still leaves deposit protection at seven times the GDP per capita of Thais, higher than most Asian countries' limits (see table).

Singapore has a rule limiting protection at one time per GDP per capita, while Indonesia's is at 3.75 times. South Korea, where income per head is four times that of Thais, limits savings protection to 2.14 times GDP per capita, or 50 million won (1.3 million baht).

The 2012 limits would leave an estimated 5.3 trillion baht in savings unprotected. While those with more than one million baht in savings accounts represent only 1.5% of total accounts, they represent 70 percent of total savings.

''These depositors can manage risks in many ways,'' said Mr. Singha.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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