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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Thailand

Thai banks urged to tone down advertisements

Unduly influencing the public to borrow.

This is the negative effect of over-persuasive advertising by Thai banks, prompting the country's central bank to attempt to address the issue.

The Bank of Thailand will hold talks with banks and other financial institutions on December 3, after recent efforts by such institutions to attract borrowings via ads that often include the offer of rewards for taking out loans.

BOT Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul yesterday said the central bank would invite executives of financial institutions to discuss their media advertising spots and ask them to rein in ads for taking out loans.

He wants thai consumers to retaing the "saving-before-spending" culture.

"Recently, banks' and non-bank institutions' advertisements have been relatively persuasive for taking out borrowings," Prasarn said.

"They mostly convey a message of borrowing, and being rewarded for doing so. We are quite concerned about this trend," he added.

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