TBank raising deposit rates next week
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TBank raising deposit rates next week

Thanachart Bank (TBank) is set to lift fixed deposit rates across the board next week, following in the footsteps of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and Kasikornbank (KBank).

The 25-basis-point fixed deposit rate hike will seek approval from the bank's board of directors next week, said executive vice-president Anuwat Luengtaweekul.

TBank, the country's sixth largest lender by assets, offers fixed deposit rates for three months at 0.95%, six months at 1.15%, 12 months at 1.5%, and 24-months at 1.65%.

Last week the country's two big players -- SCB and KBank -- increased their time-deposit rates by 25 basis points to 1.15-1.85%, partly to pass on the Bank of Thailand's 0.25-percentage-point hike of the policy rate in December.

Mr Anuwat said given high liquidity, the bank does not need to increase its savings deposit rate and lending rates.

The bank expects to maintain the current spread between lending and deposit rates at above 4%, and the net interest margin at higher than 3% by the end of this year, he said.

"It isn't suitable to raise lending rates as the economy is growing at a slower pace this year, mainly due to external uncertainties," he said.

The bank does not need to offer additional special deposits packages, said Mr Anuwat.

It has launched promotional time-deposit accounts for 17 months with an interest rate of 1.85% per year and the product is still available now. The deposit package matches the bank's auto loans.

For this year, the bank plans to increase the current account and savings account ratio to 50% in the near future, up from 48% now and 42% at the end of 2017.

TBank aims for total loan growth of around 4% this year, the same level as the country's GDP growth. Auto hire-purchase loans, representing more than 50% of TBank's total loan portfolio, is expected to be the growth driver this year.

TBank's third-quarter net profit was 3.54 billion baht, up 1.8% year-on-year. The bank's interest income for the three months to September rose to 7.84 billion baht from 7.57 billion a year earlier, while non-interest income fell 24% to 2.41 billion.

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