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SooKee

Bangkok Bank letters etc for Retirement Extension (income) - changed again?

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As Extension time trundles round again (for me the first time under the income method with no Embassy letter), and having refreshed my memory from the posts on TV and taken screen-shots where necessary, I went to Bangkok Bank's HQ office at Silom today for the 3 documents I thought I needed for Immigration for a pension based retirement extension (a letter confirming I had an account with BKK Bank and the balance, a single page letter detailing each monthly over 65K transaction showing as FTT and a 12 month statement).   Armed with the example letters from TV and being at the HQ Silom Branch I thought it would be plain sailing and that they'd know what they were doing.  Now, either they really do and it's changed somewhat since last year as they told me it had (maybe the bank has caught on to the opportunity to make a few bucks out of the changes) or they've had me over. You'd think Silom would be up to speed so I'd hope it's the former reason.

First off went to get the FTT 12 month overview letter on the 2nd floor (queue 2 on the ticket machine) and upon showing the copy of the letter from TV that I thought I needed (showing a summary of 12 months FTT transactions) I was shown another document which is what they said it had changed to as of some time last year.  This consists of a single page summary letter showing the total sum transferred over the year as FTT along with 12 credit advice slips attached detailing every transaction. The charge for this will be a total of THB 600. Not having come across a post (IIRC) talking about charges for, or changes to, this document I tried to push getting a single page summary letter but they said they couldn't do it any more and that this is the new process.  She also said that the first page of the document also doubles as the 'you have an account here' letter.  Not entirely sure about the final part as I'm not that keen on accepting a bank staffer's idea of what Immigration do or don't want and don't want to turn up on the day to find they still need the account letter.  That's still unresolved and I might push to get one in a day or so.  Not sure whether I could have persevered and tried different branches and just got the example summary FTT letter and a statement but I'm on a slightly tight schedule as my extension renewal window has just opened but I need to leave Thailand on 3 Feb and may not be back before the date my extension expires so can't afford to waste days fannying around with different options and different explanations from different branches / staff. After that I went down to the first floor and paid my THB 200 to order a 12 month statement at counter 43 (no need to get a ticket and queue for this).  The only bonus is I'll be able to go and pick both sets of docs up on Monday, likely because it's the HQ and that's where my account is. 
 

Really have this niggling feeling I've been had over, time really does prevent me trying other branches this time (but you really would think Silom would know the score) but maybe things really have changed, banks don't often miss an opportunity to cash in after all, why do a letter for free when they can provide a wad of paper for 600.  The lady at the counter (and the manager that I queried the wad vs single sheet summary with) was able to show me a pile of applications from this month alone so at least it's not just me paying.  Anyway, done now, 800 baht lighter in pocket but it least it's not the same as the 2,500 for the Embassy letter.  Posting this in case anyone else has or will come across this 'change', if indeed it has changed and isn't just yet another branch interpretation / money making venture.

 

I'm seriously considering switching to the 800k deposit method for next year, particularly if the baht weakens some, so I can just forget it. The income method used to be fairly painless and simple, now it's just more hassle than it's worth for me what with having to monitor your transactions to confirm they show as FTT, going to update the passbook, changes in the way Immigration want things and the changes in the way banks do or are willing to do things. One thing I'm not sure of, given that they just attach credit advices now to a summary letter (the charges are 100 for the letter and 500 for 12 credit advice prints) is whether you could just go to the bank each month you update the passbook and ask for a credit advice and then just attach the 12 you saved to the letter or whether the advices all have to have the letter's print date (or whether they even will.

 

There may be other posts about this version of the bank's script for Immigration letters but I didn't turn up any when I searched, too much to do though to dig up every single thread that may / may not be related.  Big change from how easy it used to be with Embassy letters though 😞

Edited by SooKee
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If your concerned go to your local immigration office now and check with them they won't eat you.😁

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2 hours ago, Pib said:

The problem in going to CW to ask a question is you will wait "3-5 hours" before you can get to talk to an immigration officer in the L1 section which handles extensions of stay renewals.  And don't even attempt to call...you can not reach/talk to an immigration officer on the phone.   The CW is just a massively busy place.

 

And although they have an Information Desk at the very entrance of immigration for general questions the desk is manned by young folks/trainees, they can only answer the most basic questions like which forms to use, how to complete the form, which section to go to, etc. 

 

My last two trips to CW (one in Oct and one in Dec) to ask some important extension of stay questions resulted in a 3 hour wait in Oct and almost a 4 hour wait in Dec before my L1 section queue number was called so I could talk face to face to an immigration officer.  I had first asked the Information Desk my questions who admitted they did not know the answers and said I need to talk to the L1 Section.

I sympathize with the location of falangies in places where immigration offices are busy and inefficient, I only comment on my experiences on where I live and assumed where OP lives can get assisted.  

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As Pib pointed out, "just asking" at CW Bangkok is no easy matter, and that's without the trek there and back which for me is 90 minutes and for some even longer.

 

The primary point of the post though is not about whether Immigration need an account confirmation letter, it's easy enough to get, costs nothing, so I'll get one regardless of what the bank staffer said.  The POINT is actually about the seemingly big change in the 12 month income summary one page letter that Bangkok Bank used to issue versus what they issue now and the charges they make for doing so.  Immigration will be able to 'help' / comment on Bangkok Bank policy how exactly? 🙄

Edited by SooKee

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33 minutes ago, SooKee said:

The POINT is actually about the seemingly big change in the 12 month income summary one page letter that Bangkok Bank used to issue versus what they issue now and the charges they make for doing so.

A bank making money off charging fees? That's what you're complaining about? Banks charging fees for services is nothing new, neither in the West nor in Thailand.  If you can't even afford the bank fees, then retirement in Thailand may not be for you.

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I have just been through this with Bangkok Bank and learned how to speed up the process next year.  I went to the head office at Silom and requested the 12 trailing month statement of all transactions.  That took 4 days to get.  Then, following the instructions from Silom, I took that statement to the branch where I had opened my account, which is Siam Paragon, for the letter.  There is a desk there for foreigners and the lady there knew exactly what letter I was talking about and even showed me an example from her notebook of such a letter prepared for another foreigner.  In order to prepare this letter, which summarizes only the foreign currency deposits, she needed the 12 month statement in order to look up the dates of each of those transactions!  Apparently, she can't cannot access directly statements older than six months.  The 600 baht charge for the letter comprises 100 baht for the letter including the past 6 months and 500 baht for transactions older than that.  I asked her if she could have produced the 12 month statement instead of Silom and she said she could.

 

The letter does not merely repeat information already available on the 12 month statement since it includes the amount of foreign currency for each transaction, which is not on the statement.  It is found on the credit advices, which she also included with the letter.

 

So, the optimal process looks like:

 

1.  print off the 1 month statement each month from the BKK Bank website and save.

 

2.  go to the home branch of the account (Paragon in my case) with the 12 monthly statements saved from the website and request the letter.  This will enable them to prepare the letter immediately without waiting for the 12 month statement and should result in a cost of 100 baht for the letter instead of 600.  The letter should be ready the same day or the next day at the latest.

 

3.  at the same time at that branch request the 12 month statement for a cost of 200 baht.  This will take several days.

 

I don't know how well this would go at a branch that does not have a desk specifically for foreign customers.

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You can save a little money but picking up you credit advice letters more often. I think you can get up to three months of them free. Some people stop in a get one each time a FTT is made in to their account. Also,  keep your bank book current and you  may not need a printed out statement. My branch produces my credit advice off the information on the bank book. I'll be getting my letter from Bangkok Bank in March from my branch and will see how they do it.

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Wasn't so much about the money TBH.  Just the difference between the old 12 line summary letter they used to produce and the 13 page document it's been replaced with.  Just so that folks are aware when they ask for the old style document and show the copies posted here that it has changed.

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2 hours ago, cmarshall said:

I have just been through this with Bangkok Bank and learned how to speed up the process next year.  I went to the head office at Silom and requested the 12 trailing month statement of all transactions.  That took 4 days to get.  Then, following the instructions from Silom, I took that statement to the branch where I had opened my account, which is Siam Paragon, for the letter.  There is a desk there for foreigners and the lady there knew exactly what letter I was talking about and even showed me an example from her notebook of such a letter prepared for another foreigner.  In order to prepare this letter, which summarizes only the foreign currency deposits, she needed the 12 month statement in order to look up the dates of each of those transactions!  Apparently, she can't cannot access directly statements older than six months.  The 600 baht charge for the letter comprises 100 baht for the letter including the past 6 months and 500 baht for transactions older than that.  I asked her if she could have produced the 12 month statement instead of Silom and she said she could.

 

The letter does not merely repeat information already available on the 12 month statement since it includes the amount of foreign currency for each transaction, which is not on the statement.  It is found on the credit advices, which she also included with the letter.

 

So, the optimal process looks like:

 

1.  print off the 1 month statement each month from the BKK Bank website and save.

 

2.  go to the home branch of the account (Paragon in my case) with the 12 monthly statements saved from the website and request the letter.  This will enable them to prepare the letter immediately without waiting for the 12 month statement and should result in a cost of 100 baht for the letter instead of 600.  The letter should be ready the same day or the next day at the latest.

 

3.  at the same time at that branch request the 12 month statement for a cost of 200 baht.  This will take several days.

 

I don't know how well this would go at a branch that does not have a desk specifically for foreign customers.

Pretty much how I plan to do it having had largely the same experience as you.  In my case my account is at HQ Silom.  I'll do it slightly differently.

 

1.  Visit my closest branch (as I do already each month) to update the bank book following each transfer and pick up a Credit Advice slip.

 

2. Every 6 months get a 6 month statement, a 6 month can be done on the day for 100 THB.

 

3. Go to Silom to get the overall foreign transfer summary letter (to which I will then attach the Credit Advice slips) which again costs 100 THB and takes a few days.  They can also do the letter from a copy of your bank book showing the FTT transactions (which they just did for me).  I got a different explanation (how surprising!) for the 600 baht charge I had this time; 100 for the letter and 500 for 12 months of credit advice slips.

 

4.  At the same time I go to do 3, order the Account Ownership certificate for 100 THB, albeit that could be got from any branch as a same day service.

Edited by SooKee

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Somewhere in a very recent post on ThaiVisa someone posted a picture of an example bank letter an immigration office had posted on their bulletin board in the immigration office.   This was an example letter of applicants.  I think the image was from the Chiang Mai immigration office and it was a Bangkok Bank letter which just summarized X-amount of foreign deposits made over a certain time period.  Like from 1 Jan-31 Dec 2019 a total of X-USD was received which equated to X-amount of baht over the period.   It didn't say how many foreign transfers during the one year period...like 12 deposits.....it did not list individual monthly transfers....it just summarized them.  

 

And this was "not" the bank letter just saying a person had so much money in the bank like Bt800K.  Two different letters. 

 

Anyway, the letter showing foreign deposits was indeed different from what Bangkok Bank initially started providing where they would individually list each foreign transfer...like on 12 Jan 2019....a $2000 USD transfer....on 12 Feb 2019....another $2000 transfer...if you had 12 transfers it would list each one individually.   I guess then to prove to the immigration officer that a required transfers "each and every month" either 12 Credit Advices, a 12 month bank statement, and/or passbook showing last 12 transfer needed to be attached.  

 

Maybe this letter format for the monthly transfer method is what the Bankgok Bank head office recommends now days but if an individual branch wants to take the extra time to complete a more detailed letter then it's up to that branch.

 

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1 minute ago, Pib said:

Somewhere in a very recent post on ThaiVisa someone posted a picture of an example bank letter an immigration office had posted on their bulletin board in the immigration office.   This was an example letter of applicants.  I think the image was from the Chiang Mai immigration office and it was a Bangkok Bank letter which just summarized X-amount of foreign deposits made over a certain time period.  Like from 1 Jan-31 Dec 2019 a total of X-USD was received which equated to X-amount of baht over the period.   It didn't say how many foreign transfers during the one year period...like 12 deposits.....it did not list individual monthly transfers....it just summarized them.  

 

And this was "not" the bank letter just saying a person had so much money in the bank like Bt800K.  Two different letters. 

 

Anyway, the letter showing foreign deposits was indeed different from what Bangkok Bank initially started providing where they would individually list each foreign transfer...like on 12 Jan 2019....a $2000 USD transfer....on 12 Feb 2019....another $2000 transfer...if you had 12 transfers it would list each one individually.   I guess then to prove to the immigration officer that a required transfers "each and every month" either 12 Credit Advices, a 12 month bank statement, and/or passbook showing last 12 transfer needed to be attached.  

 

Maybe this letter format for the monthly transfer method is what the Bankgok Bank head office recommends now days but if an individual branch wants to take the extra time to complete a more detailed letter then it's up to that branch.

 

Yes, the letter you refer to is the letter that Bangkok Bank now issues instead of the 12 line monthly itemised letter.  The option seems to be there to bolt on the 12 x credit advice slips to show individual detail if you wish.  If you pick up the credit slips each month (for which there is no charge) you could likely get away without them.  Trouble is you have to know what it is exactly that the banks are now issuing and what you do / do not need as an optional extra.  Ubonjoe pointed out that if you have the statements showing 12 x FTT you may not even need the Credit Advice notes.  In my case, not being aware of the recent changes I asked the bank for what I wanted and got told what they had replaced it with, and the charges for it.  I'll know better next time, by which time it'll probably have changed again.

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58 minutes ago, SooKee said:

 I'll know better next time, by which time it'll probably have changed again.

Your last sentence pretty much sums it up....that is, This Is Thailand...the land of mobile goal posts.

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1 hour ago, SooKee said:

Yes, the letter you refer to is the letter that Bangkok Bank now issues instead of the 12 line monthly itemised letter.  

Bangkok Bank Paragon branch produced my letter with the itemised monthly foreign deposits just yesterday without my having specified a format.  

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