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Thai consumers prioritise financial discipline
to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic: UOB survey

 Building up their savings a priority for more than one in two Thai consumers

Thailand, 11 March 2021 – More Thai consumers are prioritising financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with their ASEAN counterparts, according to the UOB ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study 2020[1]. The Study found that close to three in four Thai consumers (72 per cent) want to manage their financial health, ahead of respondents in Malaysia (70 per cent), Vietnam (69 per cent), Indonesia (60 per cent), and Singapore (46 per cent).


Sixty-four per cent of Thai respondents also said they have changed the way they manage and track their personal budgets to stay financially disciplined during COVID-19. Among Thai consumers, millennials[2] (66 per cent) have made the most prominent shift to tighten their budgets and are tracking spending more closely during the pandemic. More than three in four (76 per cent) of millennials also say that they are using digital platforms and tools to help them look after their finances more effectively. 


The same trend can also be seen among customers of TMRW, ASEAN’s first mobile-only bank for the region’s digital generation that is powered by UOB. In 2020, the number of TMRW customers – many of whom are millennials – who actively tapped the mobile-only bank’s AI-driven Smart Insights to keep track of and to manage better their finances grew by four times in 2020. Each Smart Insight is personalised to the customer as it is based on his or her transaction data.  Through TMRW, customers are also able to set a budget for their monthly expenses and receive alerts when their spending reaches their pre-set limit.


In addition to reshaping the financial behaviours of Thai consumers, the COVID-19 pandemic has also influenced their financial aspirations. The UOB ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study 2020 found that more than half of Thai consumers (52 per cent) re-calibrated their financial portfolio to grow their savings pot during pandemic. Savings accounted for 40 per cent of change in holdings followed by fixed deposits (39 per cent) and insurance plans (36 per cent). A third of Thai respondents (36 per cent) also said that they had increased their investments during the pandemic.


Mr Yuttachai Teyarachakul, Managing Director, Country Head of Personal Financial Services, UOB Thailand, said, “The ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study 2020 shows that Thai consumers are turning this crisis into an opportunity to fortify their financial health so that they can stay resilient during and emerge stronger from the pandemic. At UOB Thailand, we stand ready to help our customers build and grow their wealth sustainably through our deep expertise in wealth advisory and our holistic suite of personal financial solutions.”


The UOB ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study aims to understand ASEAN consumers better as the region undergoes a profound social and economic transformation. More than 3,500 respondents from five ASEAN countries participated in the Study, including more than 600 Thai respondents.


[1] The survey was commissioned by UOB and conducted in July 2020 among more than 3,500 individuals aged between 18 and 65 years old across five ASEAN markets, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

[2] The survey defined millennials as consumers aged 25 to 36.

About UOB Thailand

United Overseas Bank (Thai) Public Company Limited (UOB (Thai)) is a fully-licensed commercial bank with its network of 152 branches, 410 ATMs nationwide (as of 31 January 2021). UOB (Thai) is 99.66 per cent owned by Singapore-headquartered United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB), which has a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America.


UOB Thailand is rated among the top banks in Thailand: AAA by Fitch Ratings. We offer innovative financial solutions, quality products and excellent services through understanding and identifying the needs of our customers.


Generations of UOB (Thai) employees have carried through the entrepreneurial spirit, the focus on long-term value creation and an unwavering commitment to do what is right for our customers and our colleagues. We believe in being a responsible financial services provider and we are committed to making a difference in the lives of our stakeholders and in the communities in which we operate. Just as we are dedicated to helping our customers manage their finances wisely and to grow their businesses, UOB Thailand is steadfast in its support of social development, particularly in the areas of art, children and education.

For media queries, please contact:
Yada Srisammasheep
Strategic Communications and Customer Advocacy
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