Ignore closure rumours, say bankers

By KO KO AUNG | FRONTIER

Leading members of the banking industry have given assurances that the sector is safe, following a run triggered by rumours of closures.

“The situation is returning to normal and I think that conditions will be stable again in the coming week,” Cooperative Bank managing director U Pe Myint told Frontier on August 20.

“The Central Bank is solving the problem and there is no need for depositors to be afraid,” he said.

“The banking sector is safe,” U Thein Tun, the founder and chairman of the Tun Foundation Bank and chairman of the Myanmar Banks Association, told Frontier on August 19.

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“I want to say to people that they should use logical thinking and not believe what they read on Facebook,” U Thein Tun said. “Do not worry too much.”

“The Central Bank can supervise and control the situation.”

U Thein Tun said he was unable to say how much had been withdrawn from the Tun Foundation Bank since the run began earlier last week.

Their reassurances came after the Central Bank of Myanmar said in an August 18 statement that there was no plan to close any banks.

Rumours that some banks were going to close were “just a rumour”, the Central Bank said in the statement, issued at a news conference in Nay Pyi Taw.

Banks were operating under its rules and regulations, and if they did encounter difficulties the Central Bank would provide necessary assistance according to the law, the statement said.

In a Facebook post on August 17, former Asia Green Development Bank managing director U Ye Min Oo said rumours about bank closures had been common since 2010.

“It is assumed that one group is intentionally spreading the rumours because they are coming out almost every year,” U Ye Min Oo said.

“The Central Bank keeps watch on banks everyday so that under this system, the banking sector is very safe,” he wrote.

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