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Unused Bank Account Left In Thailand


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hi there!

so i left LOS about a year and 1/2 ago. I left some money in my SCB bank account. It's not that much but it is still substantial. I left it because i was sad at leaving the country and figured that that way I would HAVE to go back for a holiday AND would already have some spending money when i got there! :)

of course, i know that i don't ACTUALLY have to go back and could easily transfer it all to canada if i so wished... but i don't want to do that and i am sticking with my original plan.

my question is... Is anyone aware of a law (maybe 'law' isn't the right term here) where if a bank account in thailand hasn't been in use for a loooooong time (say 10 years.. tho i really hope to go on holidays before that :) then the bank or government can seize the money from the bank account???

anyone have any experience with this?

i know that the money is still there today because i checked through online banking, but what about 5-10 years from now?

thanks!

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SCB take 200 baht a year every August 1st to maintain my account.

On one occasion didn't use for 3 years. Dont think you will have any problem

Actually you might consider keeping the account active if you have a SCB hip card issued sometime ago ??

Although mine states for use in SCB atms only, it actually worked in a Barclays ATM in the Uk. I withdrew £100 sterling

Edited by Chivas
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SCB take 200 baht a year every August 1st to maintain my account.

On one occasion didn't use for 3 years. Dont think you will have any problem

Actually you might consider keeping the account active if you have a SCB hip card issued sometime ago ??

Although mine states for use in SCB atms only, it actually worked in a Barclays ATM in the Uk. I withdrew £100 sterling

i don't know about "SCB hip cards"?? i have a SCB VISA electron that i got 2-3 years ago, and it does work from canada.

so i shouldn't worry then?

and do they just take out 200 baht automatically if the account hasn't been used all year? i don't need to contact them or anything?

thanks for the input btw

Edited by xuberant
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Same for me.. I have a SCB & Bangkok Bank accounts that I leave for 1-1.5 years at a time.

No problems.

Sometimes when you first come back you may have a note saying it is dormant but

as soon as you use it then it is active again.

Yes SCB takes the 200 THB a year. I think that is the ATM card fee?

Also if you want to you can always transfer a few bucks every so many years over to it.

Then it is shown as active. Not that dormant status hurt anything as I said....

then again I am never gone more than 1-1.5 years at a time.

Edited by flying
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Same for me.. I have a SCB & Bangkok Bank accounts that I leave for 1-1.5 years at a time.

No problems.

Sometimes when you first come back you may have a note saying it is dormant but

as soon as you use it then it is active again.

Yes SCB takes the 200 THB a year. I think that is the ATM card fee?

Also if you want to you can always transfer a few bucks every so many years over to it.

Then it is shown as active. Not that dormant status hurt anything as I said....

then again I am never gone more than 1-1.5 years at a time.

I do not think you will have a problem if you login to internet banking every now and then but what i would do as you have a working atm card there is to be extra sure and make a token withdrawal every 6 months or every year. I am sure you are not alone. There must be many dormant foreigner accounts in banks in Thailand for whatever reason.

You could also call the bank and ask them how long an account can remain dormant before being cancelled and whether even then it can still be recovered. Would be interesting to know although personally I think you may be more at risk from a rogue employee than the actual bank policy.

This actually reminds me of one of my own accounts. My first bank account in Thailand (around 2002) was with DBS Thai Danu in Silom Road, a bank that now no longer exists having been taken over by TMB a few years ago.

When i found my bank book to this account around 2 years ago, the TMB call centre said that I would have to go to the original branch and as they couldn't tell me if the account still existed on the telephone, I couldn't be bothered to do that.

I had more than 10,000 in my DBS Thai Danu account and although the case is made slightly different due to the takeover, the basic principle is the same.

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Yes, it will still be there as long as the balance is over 2,000 Bt. Several banks will deduct fees if the balance is under 2,000Bt and dormant - 50Bt a month - until there is nothing remaining then finally the account will be closed. For a current a/cs the min balance is 10,000. For a fixed account there is no minimum required (just as long as its not zero).

Incidentally the reason the accounts get iced up while you're away for an extended period is to prevent internal fraud - so that someone doesn't deduct funds from an account they can see is unsupervised.

If you have internet banking with 2 accounts then you can transfer back and forward between the two without needing to reduce the overall cash balance as opposed to making mini withdrawals from foreign ATMs.

If you are gone for a long long time, it would probably be useful to have a copy of your original passport when you try to reactivate the account - i.e. your current passport number will likely have changed.

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I would not leave it open and inactive for such a long time. I would not trust Thai banks, in fact any banks for that matter. Because anything could happen without you knowing; e.g change of the banking regulations, bank policies etc, that you may no longer have access to your own money unless you "prove" who you are etc (I am only guessing), or they start charging you a small admin fees every month and your money is eaten away and the worse still, your account get below the nominal value, now you owe them money! As you know a bank can go bankrupt as well.

Sorry I might have painted the negative pictures, but there are so many unknowns, I dont think you need to take that risk.

When you come here again on holiday, why dont you do as normal tourist would do about money.

Alternatively, you can change it to a 10 year bond (or fixed term deposit) with a higher interest rate. It would be a nice little earner, then.

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I would withdraw every now and then while in Canada, I found Royal Bank has the best rate- just withdraw $20 a year shouldl keep it active.

Another option, while maybe a pain in the neck is to open a Thai Paypal account get verified with your SCB ATM card ( I think this could work, I don't think you need to see SCB as you could check the deposit from Paypal online), then open a Canadian Paypal account get verified and then you should be able to transfer funds between your two Paypal accounts and in turn withdraw the funds from you PP account into your SCB bank account, you will need two email accounts.

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No worries, mate: we just went through a little exercise for a cousin of ours, who moved to the States 22 (Twenty-Two) years ago . . . . . he came back; went to the bank (Bangkok-Bank) and wished to update her "Book". Well; it took 4 books, since she had made regular deposits (through my wife) into that account over the years. Final balance was well in excess of 1.5 mil Bht.

While I was there,I asked about "account-expiry" and was told that as long that it is obviously an "active" account,no bankin the Kingdom has the legal right to terminate anything.

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