Driven by strong growth in loan demand, banks are aggressively raising deposits, thereby intensifying competition in the market.
At the same time, global economic uncertainties have forced them to manage liquidity better, said local bankers.
Promotions targeting depositors have been offered by the country's seven largest banks: Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai Bank (KTB), Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Kasikornbank, Bank of Ayudhya, TMB Bank (TMB) and Thanachart Bank.
In the last two months, these banks raised a combined 314 billion baht in deposits by launching new products or extending existing deposit campaigns.
For this quarter, SCB plans to mobilise deposits of 40 billion baht, while KTB and TMB are eyeing 20 billion each.
Kanchana Rojvatunyu, the head of TMB's retail marketing, said banks have changed strategies to focus more on specific segments, which vary depending on their expertise.
"They pay more attention to specific segments and product features, and pricing is a popular gimmick," she said.
TMB has a new savings deposit product called TMB Free Flow Daily Account, focusing on transactional banking customers.
Clients using the account can make up to 10 transactions per month free of charge without limits on withdrawals, transfers or payments.
However, the interest rate for the account will be cut to zero.
"Expanding the customer base is our key objective. We're targeting 1 million such accounts in the next three years so that our customer return ratio increases to 80% from 60%," said Ms Kanchana.
Despite the intense competition, Weidt Nuchjalearn, a senior executive vice-president of KTB, said the bank's deposit customer base has been slightly affected by the competition, particularly in the civil servant segment, where it has always had an edge over other banks.
KTB's new fixed-deposit product aimed at retirees will help to boost and maintain the customer base, he said.
The new fixed deposit for 60 months pays 4% annual interest.
At Thanachart, executive vice-president Praphan Anupongongarch said the bank plans to raise more deposits to maintain its loan-to-deposit ratio at 95% by year-end.
Promotions will be used to meet this target, such as Thanachart's annual rate of up to 4% on six-month deposits.
About the author
- Writer: Somruedi Banchongduang
Position: Business Reporter