Bank accounts for foreigners

I have heard that a law was passed about eight months ago that allowed foreigners with work permits to open bank accounts, but that people without work permits could not. Since then, banks have continued to open savings and deposit accounts for foreigners without work permits. Does this mean that the Thai government can confiscate the deposits and savings at any time?

  • Asked on Tuesday, May 8, 2001 | 07:53 AM
    Sabina Jaeger, Karon.

Foreigners may open a savings account or a fixed deposit account without a work permit, though we prefer to see one if possible. They do, of course, have to show us their passport. Opening a current account, however, does require a work permit so that the customer can prove his or her permanent address in Thailand. Funds in accounts opened by either Thais or foreigners can only be confiscated if a court order or an order from the Revenue Department has been issued. For example, if an investigation discovered that funds in an account were made by illegal means, then an order would be issued and the funds would be confiscated. Confiscating savings just because they belong to a foreigner is unreasonable and we don’t do it.

  • Answered on Tuesday, May 8, 2001 | 07:53 AM
    Boonserm Jitsamreang, Customer Services Representative, Bank of Asia, Phuket Branch.
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