GSB staff expel board director

Executives and staff at state-run Government Saving Bank (GSB) issued a statement on Thursday expelling board director Wisit Wisitsora-at for causing huge damages to the state-owned financial institution.

The bank has been caught in a political firestorm since it extended a five-billion-baht loan to the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

GSB insisted the deal was just part of normal interbank lending, but anti-government protesters warned that the loan was intended to support the caretaker government’s cash-strapped rice-pledging scheme and prompted campaigns on social media urging people to withdraw their money from the bank.

GSB depositors and savings certificate holders have pulled a total of 85 billion baht from the bank over the past three days. During the same period, pro-government supporters have deposited around 30 billion baht, meaning net withdrawals from the bank stand at approximately 55 billion baht.

According to the statement from GSB, Mr Wisit was responsible for informing Thai media about the loan to BAAC.

The statement went on to say that GSB was established more than 100 years ago by King Rama VI and promises to uphold good governance and support people in all careers to save money. GSB is also determined not to be used as a political tool and will serve all customers equally, it said.

The GSB labour union meanwhile expressed regret over the crisis in confidence that has rocked the bank since the BAAC loan deal came to light. The union said the whole management team of the bank should resign to take responsibility for the serious misconduct that caused the crisis. 

President and chief executive Woravit Chailimpamontri on Tuesday tendered his resignation, while the bank’s board has resolved to call back the money lent to BAAC and scrap its 20-billion-baht credit line to the state-owned farm bank.

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