May 19, 2010 / 5:00 AM / 9 years ago

Thailand's top banks close Bangkok branches early

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s top four banks said they would close all branches in the capital early on Wednesday because of political violence after troops moved into an anti-government protest camp.

The four are top lender Bangkok Bank, second-ranked Krung Thai Bank, Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank, the Thai Bankers’ Association said in a statement.

All branches will be closed at 1 p.m. (0600 GMT) on Wednesday.

Shortly after that time, some protest leaders surrendered to the security forces and the army said the situation at the protest camp was under control.

The Bank of Thailand said in a statement it had asked financial institutions in Bangkok to close operations from 0600 GMT for safety reasons but it did not say when they would reopen.

They should clear pending transactions, including payments, foreign exchange settlements and check-clearing, it said.

Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Alan Raybould

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