PhDEducation

Beware of Bangkok Bank

151 posts in this topic

On 1/25/2017 at 9:29 PM, KhonKaenKowboy said:

My Thai bank just gave me a chip protected visa debit with no fee at any ATM in LOS and gets me long access at Swampy.  Free card, first year free, then 100 per year […]

What bank is that?

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Not that many Thai Banks and you can bet it isn't the biggest ones.  Find the ones with the best interest rates...you will be very close.

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On 1/24/2017 at 8:02 PM, NancyL said:

Yes, definitely.  This how the Social Security direct deposit accounts work.  The U.S. gov't INSISTS that the direct deposit gov't payments like Social Security, Military Pensions, etc into Bangkok Bank account that don't have ATM on on-line access and are sole owner accounts.  The owner has to go in person to a Bangkok Bank, with his passport, to make a withdrawal.  And most turn around and deposit the funds, usually withdrawn as cash, into another Bangkok Bank account with ATM and perhaps on-line access.  That account could be a joint account, or even someone elses.   

 

In fact, the OP alluded to this is why he continues to stay with Bangkok Bank because they're the only U.S. bank approved by the U.S. gov't for this type of deposit -- lending credence to the theory that he has problems with dementia (in receipt of Social Security), mental illness (Social Security or Military Disability Payment) or is being exploited.

 

 

No....the U.S. govt does "not" insist direct deposits go to Bangkok Bank.   It's simply because the U.S. govt sends direct deposits via the U.S. ACH payment system and Bangkok Bank is the only bank in Thailand with ACH receiving capability....no other Thai bank has ACH capability.

 

Now the part about not being able to have an ATM card, must show up in person to withdraw funds, can only be a single owner account, etc.,  with a Bangkok Bank Direct Deposit account is purely a Bangkok Bank policy to ensure certain fraudulent transactions do not occur which could blacklist them for payments from the U.S. govt.   So Bangkok Bank has established polices to avoid this lucrative (profitable) service from being impacted by fraudulent transactions. 

 

And by fraudulent transactions I mean for example the pensioner passes away and if the account allowed a joint owner (which it don't) such as a spouse unintentionally/intentionally fails to notify the U.S. govt the pensioner was barbecued at the local temple, the monthly pension payment continues to flow in and the joint owner continues to withdraw/spend the inflow of payments that should have stopped upon the pensioners death.   Now although the social security agency sends a person a "are you still alive letter" every year or so, those could be signed and returned by a still grieving joint account owner and the payment continue.  For military retirement payments, they never/rarely send out such a "are you still alive letter."    Plus it can be hard to recoup overpayments/funds from a foreigner/foreign country.

 

In the States govt pension payments can go to a joint account, you can have an ATM, withdraw via ibanking, etc., because in the U.S. when someone dies that info is passed along via police, hospitals, and varies out local agencies to the U.S. govt.  So even if a joint account owner fails to report the pensioners death the U.S. govt pension payment agency finds out about it pretty quick anyway.   Plus it's much easier to recoup overpayments/funds from a person in the U.S./from a U.S. bank.

 

 

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ID: 44   Posted (edited)

24 minutes ago, Pib said:

No....the U.S. govt does "not" insist direct deposits go to Bangkok Bank.   It's simply because the U.S. govt sends direct deposits via the U.S. ACH payment system and Bangkok Bank is the only bank in Thailand with ACH receiving capability....no other Thai bank has ACH capability.

 

Now the part about not being able to have an ATM card, must show up in person to withdraw funds, can only be a single owner account, etc.,  with a Bangkok Bank Direct Deposit account is purely a Bangkok Bank policy to ensure certain fraudulent transactions do not occur which could blacklist them for payments from the U.S. govt.   So Bangkok Bank has established polices to avoid this lucrative (profitable) service from being impacted by fraudulent transactions. 

 

And by fraudulent transactions I mean for example the pensioner passes away and if the account allowed a joint owner (which it don't) such as a spouse unintentionally/intentionally fails to notify the U.S. govt the pensioner was barbecued at the local temple, the monthly pension payment continues to flow in and the joint owner continues to withdraw/spend the inflow of payments that should have stopped upon the pensioners death.   Now although the social security agency sends a person a "are you still alive letter" every year or so, those could be signed and returned by a still grieving joint account owner and the payment continue.  For military retirement payments, they never/rarely send out such a "are you still alive letter."    Plus it can be hard to recoup overpayments/funds from a foreigner/foreign country.

 

In the States govt pension payments can go to a joint account, you can have an ATM, withdraw via ibanking, etc., because in the U.S. when someone dies that info is passed along via police, hospitals, and varies out local agencies to the U.S. govt.  So even if a joint account owner fails to report the pensioners death the U.S. govt pension payment agency finds out about it pretty quick anyway.   Plus it's much easier to recoup overpayments/funds from a person in the U.S./from a U.S. bank.

 

 

http://www.bangkokbank.com/BangkokBankThai/Documents/Site Documents/Other/bankingGuide_june.pdf

 

"In compliance with US regulations, Bangkok Bank cannot authorize the withdrawal of funds from your direct deposit account by an appointed representative, or via ATM or any other electronic channel. You must appear in person at a Bangkok Bank branch to withdraw the funds."

Edited by mesquite

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ID: 45   Posted (edited)

Give me a link to the U.S. regulation if you can.  I doubt there really is such a regulation but I stand ready to say I stand corrected.  

 

Edit:  What Bangkok Bank is doing is trying to comply with the intent of the International Direct Deposit Program where U.S. govt agencies will send pension payments to selected countries which have the capability to receive U.S. govt payments and have signed up to the IDD program.  However, Thailand is not one of those countries.   But Bangkok Bank want sto comply with the intent and minimize fraudulent transactions like the example I gave above.    If that foreign bank and/or the U.S. govt pension payment agency allows U.S. govt pension payments then the following special provision applies for "joint accounts" if allowed.

 

Partial quote of IDD signup form indicating Joint Accounts are allowed at foreign banks

Quote

SPECIAL NOTICE TO JOINT ACCOUNT HOLDERS If your receiving bank and issuing agency allow a joint account with a person who receives U.S. government issued payment(s) and that person dies, you must immediately contact your bank and the American Embassy/Consulate in your country and/or the U.S. government agency that issued the payment. Any U.S. government payment deposited into a joint account after the death of a recipient must be returned to the agency that issued the payment.

 

 

 

 

IDD sign up form.pdf

Edited by Pib

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ID: 46   Posted (edited)

One additional note to above, when I first arrived here for a few months I had my military retirement pension going to my "regular Bangkok Bank joint saving account."   No problem....U.S. govt was happily sending it.

 

But then one day I got a letter from "Bangkok Bank" that I needed to open a Direct Deposit accounts since the coding on the payment said it was coming from the U.S. govt; if I didn't Bangkok Bank would start rejecting further incoming pension payments.

 

The key here is it was Bangkok Bank who raised the issue....the U.S. govt agency could care less as all they needed was an ACH bank routing number and account number....didn't care whether it was a joint account....just needed to be a bank on the ACH system.  Or a bank/country on the IDD program which Thailand is not part of.

 

And notice the IDD signup form attached above even allows joint accounts however it points the person to the special note provision about prompt notification of pensioners death.  

 

But Bangkok Bank knows relying on a joint account owner (which will most likely be a the Thai wife) to accomplish the death notification is ripe for fraudulent transaction/failure to provide the required notification which would eventually get Bangkok Bank in the spotlight after repeated events and probably blacklisted for this profitable service.

Edited by Pib

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2 hours ago, KhonKaenKowboy said:

Not that many Thai Banks and you can bet it isn't the biggest ones.  Find the ones with the best interest rates...you will be very close.

Any reason you can’t just give us the information?

 

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Does it really matter if it's the U.S. gov't or Bangkok Bank who has set up the rule that the incoming U.S. gov't payments must go into an account that doesn't have ATM access, isn't a joint account and that the recipient has to show up in person each month to claim?  I've heard stories each way about which party insists on these restrictions.  The fact is that, Bangkok Bank is the only Thai bank to accept ACH deposits from the U.S.  and these are the rules in place.

 

I do find it interesting that in the U.S. gov't pension payments can go into joint accounts, with ATM access.  That's exactly what we do with Hubby's monthly SS and use it to pay our U.S.-based expenses.  In theory, I could fail to tell the U.S. gov't that he died here, right?  Also interestingly, his former employer in the U.S. has no such restrictions, so his private pension is direct deposited into our joint Bangkok Bank account and I use it to pay our Thailand-based expenses.  Again, I suppose I could fail to tell them when he croaks, also, right?  

 

In reality that won't be the case, because I'll want to get my hot little hands on his life insurance policies' payouts, so I'll be hounding the U.S. Consulate for those "death of U.S. citizen abroad" certificates that work just like a U.S. death certificate to notify financial institutions of someone's death.

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Just now, NancyL said:

Does it really matter if it's the U.S. gov't or Bangkok Bank who has set up the rule that the incoming U.S. gov't payments must go into an account that doesn't have ATM access, isn't a joint account and that the recipient has to show up in person each month to claim?  I've heard stories each way about which party insists on these restrictions.  The fact is that Bangkok Bank is the only Thai bank to accept ACH deposits from the U.S.  and these are the rules in place.

I quite agree and of course that's why I have my social paid into a non-Thai (and non-US) bank account with full ATM & internet banking access

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1 minute ago, SaintLouisBlues said:

I quite agree and of course that's why I have my social paid into a non-Thai (and non-US) bank account with full ATM & internet banking access

Could I ask which bank?

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1 hour ago, SaintLouisBlues said:

I quite agree and of course that's why I have my social paid into a non-Thai (and non-US) bank account with full ATM & internet banking access

 Sounds like you are saying it goes into an account not based in Thailand or the U.S.....another country?

 

But if it is in Thailand then it's still actually a Thai bank since it must operate under a Bank of Thailand license and regulations although the bank may carry the name of a foreign bank.

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I'd never fully trust a Thai bank again, so much incompetence, lies and deceit over the years. I use Krungsri now, at least that is owned by the Japanese, or so they say. No nonsense from them so far.

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Below is some information from the Social Security Administration (SSA) Program Operations Manual System (POMS)....POMS is what the SSA calls its regulations.   The information talks payment to foreign financial institutions, what is acceptable and what is not, etc.  Lots of sublinks in the first reference below which will take you to other POMS which talk more specifics.  

 

Can not find any thing saying joint accounts are not acceptable to the SSA.  But as always the bank can set it's own policy regarding what type of account you can have.

 

Background and Policy for Direct Deposit Outside the U.S.

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.NSF/lnx/0202402201

 

Acceptable Types of Foreign Financials Institutions (identifying acceptable and unacceptable financial institutions & accounts)

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.NSF/lnx/0202402030

 

Account Titles

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.NSF/lnx/0202402050#a

Quote

 

1. Single or joint accounts

Beneficiaries who are their own payees may have his or her payments deposited to a single or joint ownership account.

 

 

 

Thai banks have some policies regarding joint accounts that are very different from what we are use to with our bank accounts in western countries.   For example, in the U.S. you can have full SMS alerts service on a joint account; and assuming Bangkok Bank's policy for full SMS Alerts on a joint account reflects other Thai bank's policy, on a Bangkok Bank "joint" account you "can not" have full SMS alerts service.  I'm think you can still get limited SMS alerts for certain SMS alerts like incoming foreign payments/transfers but full SMS Alerts service you can not have on a joint account.   

 

http://www.bangkokbank.com/BangkokBank/PersonalBanking/DailyBanking/SMSAlerts/Pages/alert.aspx

Capture.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also in Thailand, joint bank accounts are "frozen" upon the death of one of the account holders until the Final Will is probated.  It's not automatically assumed that the other owner(s) of a joint account have the rights of survivorship or even own a proportionate share of the account, like half the account if there are two names on the account.  So, if someone was using an account joint with their wife for deposit of the SS and their wife died, they could find themselves unable to access their SS during the couple months it could take to settle the details of the wife's estate.  

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Seems like you could have a recurring transfer without an ATM card on the account.  Or maybe they are on to that, too.  Or are electronic payments forbidden.

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1 hour ago, KhonKaenKowboy said:

Seems like you could have a recurring transfer without an ATM card on the account.  Or maybe they are on to that, too.  Or are electronic payments forbidden.

With a Bangkok Bank direct deposit account you can not do an ibanking transfer "out" but you can do an ibanking transfer in.   I have done several ibanking transfers in over the years...but try a transfer out and you get a transaction error (also tried several times to include a minute ago).

 

To withdraw or transfer money out your must show up in person to prove you are still breathing. 

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ID: 57   Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, Pib said:

Give me a link to the U.S. regulation if you can.  I doubt there really is such a regulation but I stand ready to say I stand corrected.  

 

Edit:  What Bangkok Bank is doing is trying to comply with the intent of the International Direct Deposit Program where U.S. govt agencies will send pension payments to selected countries which have the capability to receive U.S. govt payments and have signed up to the IDD program.  However, Thailand is not one of those countries.   But Bangkok Bank want sto comply with the intent and minimize fraudulent transactions like the example I gave above.    If that foreign bank and/or the U.S. govt pension payment agency allows U.S. govt pension payments then the following special provision applies for "joint accounts" if allowed.

 

Partial quote of IDD signup form indicating Joint Accounts are allowed at foreign banks

 

 

 

 

IDD sign up form.pdf

Please give me a link to the Bankok Bank policy you mention.  Where did you read or hear that it is the Bangkok Bank policy (vs USG) to restrict the account?

Edited by mesquite

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ID: 58   Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, NancyL said:

Does it really matter if it's the U.S. gov't or Bangkok Bank who has set up the rule that the incoming U.S. gov't payments must go into an account that doesn't have ATM access, isn't a joint account and that the recipient has to show up in person each month to claim?  I've heard stories each way about which party insists on these restrictions.  The fact is that, Bangkok Bank is the only Thai bank to accept ACH deposits from the U.S.  and these are the rules in place.

 

I do find it interesting that in the U.S. gov't pension payments can go into joint accounts, with ATM access.  That's exactly what we do with Hubby's monthly SS and use it to pay our U.S.-based expenses.  In theory, I could fail to tell the U.S. gov't that he died here, right?  Also interestingly, his former employer in the U.S. has no such restrictions, so his private pension is direct deposited into our joint Bangkok Bank account and I use it to pay our Thailand-based expenses.  Again, I suppose I could fail to tell them when he croaks, also, right?  

 

In reality that won't be the case, because I'll want to get my hot little hands on his life insurance policies' payouts, so I'll be hounding the U.S. Consulate for those "death of U.S. citizen abroad" certificates that work just like a U.S. death certificate to notify financial institutions of someone's death.

hmmm...what kind of money are we talking, Darling? :sleep:

 

Edited by mesquite

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ID: 59   Posted (edited)

Wit so many banks in the us doing  free ACH, it clearly seems foolish to leave it up  to the federal government and a foreign bank.  It would be better to control the transfers yourself.  Only doing them quarterly for one thing.  I would bet the people who have become defacto stateless, without even a us account make up the brunt of Nancy's clients and don't get me started on the bogus letters.  I've got three senior us citizens near me...all use the letters, and they barely make 65k between them and have zero in savings.  One told me the SS check deposit is free at bkbank...I have very serious doubts.  Like the 50 THB they charge you on a counter withdrawal; it maynotbe listed, but it is sure as heck incorporated into what shows as the deposit.

Edited by KhonKaenKowboy
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I am no lover of Bangkok Bank since I moved the bulk of my savings out here, say 8 years ago.

I asked the teller what was the best interest rate I could obtain and she sent me to see, an older but younger than me, woman who had here own cubical in far corner.

She checked my Book, then in answer to my question on Rates Stated You must not move any money from this account for 3 months.

Er but I want best rate for my money, she repeated herself No move money. 

I left annoyed and spoke to a Thai lady who had been in Banking some years before.

She said that some banks the staff shared in a  'Prize' when a  large deposit was made and left for 3 months minimum.

I went following day and closed my account.

Now with UOB for many years and good friendly service.

 

john

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