Banks submit agenda

Banks submit agenda

Aim is to be financial hub ahead of AEC

The Thai Bankers' Association (TBA) will soon submit five proposals to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) for its financial sector development plan, says TBA chairman Boontuck Wungcharoen.

Boontuck: Vows to fight corruption

The proposals include implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca), an upgrade of Thailand to a financial hub for the Greater Mekong Subregion and enhanced competitiveness by local banks.

Banks in Thailand stand ready to comply with the US anti-tax-dodging regulations, said Mr Boontuck, who is also chief executive of TMB Bank.

The Revenue Department earlier said Thailand was set to forge an agreement with the US this year.

Fatca is a US federal law requiring Americans including those living abroad to report their financial accounts held outside the country. Foreign financial institutions must report on their American customers to the US Internal Revenue Service. The Thai Revenue Department and US Treasury are to share the financial information of customers of both nationalities using financial institutions in both countries including banks, mutual funds and life insurance firms to prevent tax avoidance in offshore markets.

Under the law, foreign banks that do not agree to share information with the US government face steep penalties when doing business in the US.

The NCPO recently asked major business associations such as the TBA, Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations, Thai Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Thai Industries to make proposals for economic reform to the junta.

Mr Boontuck said Thailand should position itself as a financial centre, particularly for international payment systems, cross-border trade and investment in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, to prepare for an integrated market under the Asean Economic Community, slated to kick off late next year.

The platform should offer greater business opportunities, he said.

Local banks could accentuate their advantage over regional peers by enforcing the draft of the Commercial Collateral Act, allowing the bank to count claims and accounts receivable as collateral, and increasing the role of the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation in providing financing to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Encouraging long-term savings and strengthening the collaboration of local banks against corruption are also among the five proposals.

The TBA supports anti-corruption activities, and members agreed to prevent financial deals suspected of graft.

Mr Boontuck said all five proposals were agreed upon by its members. The proposals will go to the Joint Private-Public Standing Committee for July's monthly meeting together with the proposals of six other private sector organisations before being forwarded to NCPO.

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