The Deposit Protection Office (DPO) of the Bank of Lao PDR announced this month that four Thai commercial bank branches in Laos have voluntarily terminated their membership in the DPO and closed operations due to business strategy changes in their head offices.
The four Thai bank branches include the Thai Military Bank Vientiane Capital branch, the Krungsri Ayudhya Bank Savannakhet province branch, the CIMB Thai Bank Vientiane province branch, and the Bangkok Bank Pakse branch in Champasack province.
A DPO officer told the Laotian Times that the revised law on commercial banks required foreign commercial banks in Laos to increase their registered capital from LAK 100 billion to LAK 300 billion.
The officer added that most of these banks’ customers who came to invest in Laos in the past have closed their businesses or canceled their investment projects, which may have also led to their closure.
Before the closure, these bank branches notified customers to close their accounts and withdraw their deposits. Most depositors have done so, but there are still some who have not yet contacted the banks to withdraw their money.
Hence, these bank branches have transferred the remaining accounts that have been active for less than six years to other commercial banks in Laos.
The deposits of the Thai Military Bank Vientiane Capital branch, Krungsri Ayudhya Bank Savannakhet province branch, CIMB Thai Bank Vientiane province branch, and Bangkok Bank Pakse branch in Champasack province have been transferred to the Joint Development Bank, Krungsri Ayudhya Bank Vientiane Capital branch, Lao Development Bank, and Bangkok Bank Vientiane Capital branch, respectively.
For deposit accounts that have been active for more than six years, they have been transferred to the Central Bank of Laos to continue being managed according to regulations.
Additionally, the DPO officer said that while these several Thai bank branches terminated their services in Laos, many other Thai bank branches have increased their registered capital and continued business, such as Krungthai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Kasikornbank, and Vientiane Capital branches of Bangkok Bank and Krungsri Ayudhya Bank.
When asked about the impact of the termination, the DPO officer declined to comment. However, he assured all account holders that their savings are still protected and that they can contact the DPO if they experience any problems withdrawing money.