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Issues Associated with Dormant Thai Bank Accounts

Transcript of the above video:

Something that recently came up in various news reports over about the past 2 weeks at the time of this filming, pertains to bank accounts in the Kingdom of Thailand or more specifically, bank accounts that are sort of left, for lack of a better term, “unattended” in the Kingdom.

A recent article, this is from the Chiang Rai Times but it also notes Reuters from the Chiang Rai Times, so I don’t know if Reuters picked it up or the Chiang Rai Times picked it up. I can’t tell.

The title of the article is “Thailand’s Finance Minister Defends Plans to Take Money from dormant Bank Accounts”.  

"Thailand’s Finance Minister said on Thursday, a planned Thai law to transfer money from bank accounts left inactive for more than 10 years to the Treasury will be 'in the public interest'”. To quote further, (I am going to skip a little bit)  to quote further from this article, “I can confirm it’s not seizing people’s money as reported he said, adding account owners or their heirs  would be able to reclaim the money at any time”.

So basically to sort of sum up I would recommend anybody watching this video to go ahead and read that article in the Chiang Rai Times or their website.

Basically what‘s happening here is a law is being promulgated, I think it will probably be passed which basically stipulates that a bank account that has been dormant for 10 years or longer will sort of be effectively , for lack of a better term, confiscated by the Government.  But to be clear, we’re talking about inactive accounts, like no one has had anything to do with them for a 10 year period and I think the vast majority of these accounts are just going to have nickels and dimes in them or bahts and satangs in them, you know. Not a huge amount of money for the most part.  You do have it happen in other countries. There are protocols and policies in place in countries such as the Unites States for example whereby if an account remains unattended for a prolonged period of time and certain notice is provided to the beneficial owner and its never followed up on, eventually that account is just sort of shut down and presumably the funds are just sort of cycled into the bank or they’re escheat to the state. I look at this as somewhat analogous to failure to have a will at the time that one passes away.  If one dies in testate and one has no clear heirs who come forward, assets can actually do what’s called escheat to the state whereby it really essentially just becomes state property. It appears here that the property becomes that of the bank although as noted, I guess if a person were to come back later and say “hey where did my money go?” It’s been 10 years and a month, presumably there seems to be some kind of program in place or there is going to prospectively be a program in place to go ahead and petition and get that money back. That being said, I don’t recommend counting on that so anybody watching this video that really wants to leave money lying around in a Thai account for longer than 10 years should seriously consider taking measures to at least sort of “stir that pot” for lack of a better term to make sure that it’s been checked on so as not to be considered dormant for purposes of collection, basically.