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CIMBT to close down 16 more outlets this year


CIMB Thai Bank plans to continue reducing the number of branches, to respond to consumers’ changing lifestyle in the digital era.

Adisorn Sermchaiwong, senior executive vice president, announced yesterday the plan to close 16 branches this year, reducing the total to 80.
The bank has been gradually reducing the number since 2012, when there were 163 branches, to 96 as of June 30. According to Adisorn, it was in 2013 that the bank decided to scale down its physical presence, when more banking services became digitised. And through the period, CIMBT experienced an increase in investment activities.
“There is less demand for cash transactions at branches or ATMs as more customers are shifting to digital banking services. Branches now just serve as the venues where we provide financial advisory services, but customers seeking such services may visit branches only once a month,” he said.
Despite a smaller presence in the past two years, the bank has welcomed a larger number of “preferred” customers, whose deposits and investment at the bank exceed Bt1 million each.
As of June, the number rose to 53,160, against 48,270 in 2015 and 37,344 in 2014. At the end of this year, this is expected to increase to 60,000 and their combined assets at the bank are to hit Bt200 billion, against Bt170 billion at present.
These preferred customers control 80 per cent of total deposits of Bt108.314 billion at CIMBT, Adisorn said. They also account for 80 per cent of income from selling investment products, which stood at Bt150 billion in the first half of this year.
With fewer branches, total proceeds from investment products including funds and debentures have been increasing, from Bt108 million in 2013 to Bt224 million in 2014 and Bt447 million last year.

Lending
On the lending side, a website is in place to accommodate personal-loan applications. The number of applications, from 6-7 per cent of the total now, is expected to rise to 10 per cent by the end of this year.
In partnership with Advanced Info Service, the bank also offers Beat Banking and Beat Savings accounts, to assist digital transactions.
According to Adisorn, this will support the national PromptPay electronic-transaction service. He is convinced that CIMBT’s income from transactional banking will not be affected much by PromptPay, given that this income is less than Bt100 million a year.
The bank expects its fee-based income to drop by no more than Bt5 million a year because of PromptPay.
Meanwhile, cash-management costs will also decline.
About 1,000 depositors have signed up at CIMBT to join the PromptPay service since registration started on July 1.
The bank has about 300,000 active current and savings deposit accounts.

Published : July 13, 2016

By : SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN THE NA