By PHUWIT LIMVIPHUWAT
The event, which got under way yesterday at Impact Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok, continues until May 19.
The queues began appearing several hours before the venue’s doors were opened to the public.
The exhibition has grown into one of the biggest banking events of the year, with financial institutions from around the country gathering to promote their financial products to customers.
However, for the bulk of those consumers waiting patiently in line since dawn, there was only one bank on their minds. Their mission was to be accepted into the Special 106 Days Savings Promotion programme offered by the Government Savings Bank (GSB).
“I have been waiting here since 5 in the morning,” said Bandit Yingsitthisakkong, age 41, a GSB customer who volunteered to organise a customer-run queuing system in front of the expo venue.
“The reason why so many people want to make deposits with the GSB is because of its special promotion being given out to customers at this event,” he said “It will offer the highest interest rate for savings.”
The GSB is offering special interest rates for individual customers of up to 4 per cent, on average, annually - much higher than the average savings rate of other banks, which are well below 2 per cent each a year.
Customers who want to be admitted into the bank’s special savings programme must first receive a ticket that will be distributed at the event twice a day until May 19. Each time, 250 tickets are handed out.
But, as Bandit pointed out, the pre-opening crowds numbered more than 300, and they were joined by plenty more after the doors opened.
“This means there will not be enough tickets for all these customers,” he said.
Other banks have taken the opposite direction in promoting their loan deals at the expo.
Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is offering products called Speedy Loan and Speedy Cash to customers who sign-up for the programme during the exhibition. With the loan promotion, customers will be able to take out their first three loans at zero interest rates.
Kasikornbank is also targeting customers with its loan-based financial products. Products designed for customers at the event include K-Home Loan, with no interest for three months, along with K-Personal Loan with interest of 0.7 per cent each month and K-Express Cash, with zero-interest rates for 90 days.
TMB Bank and Thanachart Bank have focused on offering mortgage deals. Visitors at the expo will get an interest rate of 3.5 per cent per year for three years when they apply for mortgages with TMB Home Loan or with TMB Home Loan Refinance. Thanachart Bank is offering mortgages to customers at the exhibition with interest of 3.29 per cent for three years.