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Bank of Thailand May Levy 0.6% Deposit Fee on Commercial Lenders

Thailand’s publicly traded banks may have to pay a fee amounting to as much as 0.6 percent of their total deposits to the central bank as part of a debt repayment plan, Krung Thai Bank Pcl President Apisak Tantivorawong said.

The Bank of Thailand said last month it plans to collect a fee equivalent to as much as 1 percent of total deposits to help raise funds to pay debt. Thai lenders currently pay a fee amounting to 0.4 percent of total deposits into the central bank’s deposit-protection fund.

The new fee “shouldn’t exceed 0.6 percent,” Apisak told reporters today, without saying when the rate may be fixed.

The Thai Bankers Association said last month the move was “unfair” to commercial lenders because state-run banks aren’t required to pay the levy. The fee increase may cause distortions in the industry because state-run banks account for about 30 percent of total deposits, Apisak said today.

“That’s a big proportion, and the central bank can’t control it,” he said. “This reduces the effectiveness of policy transmission.”

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