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Thai Retirement Visas: Concerns about Banking in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing Thai Retirement Visas of any category. This doesn't pertain specifically to Thai O Retirement Visas nor to Thai O-A Retirement Visas. We are just talking about all Retirement Visas because we are talking about Banking. 

For those who are unaware, those who wish to retire in Thailand generally speaking you either need to show presumably a pension or some kind of income from overseas coming into a Thai Bank account in the amount of 65,000 Baht or more or you need to be able to show a bank balance of 800,000 Baht in a Thai Bank account that is maintained over a certain period of time. 

Now understand, there are various rules associated with the amount of that balance that has to remain unchanged throughout the year. We have other videos on this channel where we discuss that at length. The purpose of this video is to talk about banking facilities specifically. I have seen a number of comments on our channel as well as other channels throughout YouTube where criticism or concerns maybe I should say regarding the banking system of Thailand and holding 800,000 Baht in a bank account is brought up where people are basically saying “I am not going to do a Retirement Visa because I am afraid there will be some kind of bail in associated with the Thai Banks”. I understand people’s concerns with that and I certainly think it is especially warranted looking back on the last 20 years. But I personally think that the Thai banking system, now I could get burned on this at some point and if I do, so be it but this is just my observation as of the time of this video. My belief is the Thai Banking system in my opinion is probably in relatively better shape than a lot of other countries, especially in the region, but throughout the world. One of the main reasons for this is all the problems they had back in '97 when they had the Asian financial crisis that began here in Thailand and their Banks were put under an intense amount of stress. Since then, they have really maintained their regulatory system regarding banking with that situation in mind. They are very well aware of the jitteriness associated with banking generally and the circumstances that occurred roughly a little more than 20 years ago. So, the banking system have a lot of stress tests in place. I would argue the major stress test that has proven the Thai banking system is quite resilient has been the last nine months. The COVID situation, the response, the banks are still fine. I don't see anything that leads me at least to believe and again I am a layman when it comes to banking, it is just one man's observation but I don't see anything that leaves me to believe there are major concerns warranted associated with the integrity of the Thai Banking system. Now that stated, I understand people's concerns but it is a requirement associated with Thai Retirement Visas. If it is possible for someone to have a pension rather than maintaining a balance that is also a possibility. 

There are other types of visas to maintain long-term status in Thailand. Thailand Elite Visas, the O-X Visa although if banking is a concern that might not be a good fit. If someone is married to a Thai national and they have concerns about banking, it is possible to get a Marriage Visa in Thailand and depending upon circumstances, it might not even be required to have a bank account, for example Marriage Visa with a Work Permit you don't need a bank account to maintain status in Thailand under Marriage Visa status. It is just one example. The capital requirements in a bank account for a Thai Marriage Visa are lower than capital requirements in a bank account for a Retirement Visa. So while I totally understand where people’s jitteriness comes from, I think it is unwarranted based on the circumstances.