Closing a Thai bank account from abroad

In February 2006 I left my job in Phuket, fully expecting to return within six months on vacation. I therefore left a balance of a few thousand baht in what was then my Bank of Asia account.

Unfortunately, work commitments have so far prevented me from returning and my ATM card is not accepted by machines in Europe.

The bank is now UOB, I have had an income tax return which has boosted the balance of my account, and I now wish to close it, as I do not know when I will next be in Thailand.

On May 4, I wrote to the manager of the main branch in Phuket City where I have my account, asking that the account be closed and the balance transferred to my bank in Europe, the details of which I provided.

I have heard nothing from them despite also including an email address and none of my money has been transferred.

The Singapore-based UOB says on its own website, “Our mission is to be a Premier Bank in the Asia-Pacific region, committed to providing Quality Products and Excellent Customer Service.” I have yet to receive evidence of this. Please help. I enclose, for your records only and not for publication, the letter I sent to UOB.

SM, Greece.

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For some reason we have not received your mail or email.

To close your bank account and transfer the balance to an account overseas, we need you to provide a completed form to have the balance of your account transferred to an account overseas as well as a signed copy of the face page of your passport.

This is usually done in person. However, you can have someone else close the account on your behalf. To do so, you will need a notarial letter from a Royal Thai embassy affirming your intent to close your bank account in Thailand.

Your representative will need this letter, a signed copy of the face page in your passport and a power of attorney for that person to close the account for you.

If another person closes the account for you, we will then not be able to transfer the funds to your account overseas.

Our fee to close your account is 550 baht. Please keep in mind that most foreign banks charge no less than US$10 to receive an international transfer of funds.

However, please note that if the account is inactive for one year and your account balance is less than 5,000 baht, a monthly fee of 20 baht will be deducted from your account in order to keep it open.

However, if your account balance is more than 5,000 baht, we will not charge a monthly fee to keep your account open.

Please feel free to make your inquiries by phone at Tel: (+66) 76 276211, 276 564 or by fax at: (66) 76 214901, 214902.

Naris Kaewpradapm, Branch Manager of UOB Muang Phuket Branch on Phuket Rd, Phuket City.

Answered on October 16, 2007.
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