Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Millions of workers have savings to last for just a month: TMB study

Apr 19. 2020
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By The Nation

A TMB study says that eight million Thai workers are at risk of economic difficulty as their savings can sustain them for only 30 days. TMB Analytics Centre executive director Naris Sathapholdecha said that 34 per cent of Thais have sufficient savings or can last for more than six months without work, 45 per cent can manage for 2-3 months while 20 per cent have savings to sustain them for less than one month.

In case of unforeseen events such as unemployment from the Covid-19 pandemic, TMB found that 38 million in the Thai workforce are at risk with an average of 8 million people (20 per cent) who cannot sustain themselves for more than a month while another 30 million have savings for more than a month, but only 13 million people can support their families for more than six months.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) reported at the end of February that 101 million accounts of all types were deposits totalling Bt14.15 trillion, an increase of 2.75 per cent or more than Bt3.79 billion. Most of the deposits are not more than Bt50,000, in 88.21 million accounts, amounting to Bt419 billion.

“After the Covid-19 outbreak, the burden of expenses may be reduced and lead to savings for use in future. However, the savings behaviour will return to deposits, as can be seen from the deposits growth, while the investment of risk-weighted assets, both real estate stocks and funds, will decrease until the market returns to normal. Therefore, people will save money in the form of deposits this year because it is safe and is protected up to Bt5 million while the banks themselves don't reduce the interest on retail deposits but only on corporate deposits," said Naris.

The household savings structure will see funds in deposits increase to 45 per cent, from 37.9 per cent at the end of last year.

Household deposits amounted to Bt7.96 trillion, accounting for 37.9 per cent of total savings, followed by funds 24.2 per cent (Bt5.08 trillion), insurance 13.38 per cent (Bt2.81 trillion), and provident fund 19.15 per cent ( Bt4.02 trillion)

“This is a good opportunity to control costs, especially trying to reduce unnecessary expenses. Studies show that one in four, or 25 per cent, can be reduced," said Naris.

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