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Rajabhat network to boycott SCB

The Rajabhat university network yesterday decided in principle to end all financial dealings with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) as a protest against the bank restricting applications for a recent job opening role to graduates from other universities.

Niwat Klin-Ngam, president of the Council of Rajabhat University Presidents of Thailand (CRUPT), said members had unanimously agreed at an informal meeting to close all bank accounts they held with SCB in response to the bank excluding the 40 Rajabhat universities nationwide from a recent recruitment advert.

"Even though SCB has attributed the incident to a typing error, we don't buy it and still believe the bank has a bias about Rajabhat quality," Mr Niwat said.

He said the transaction volume between CRUPT members and the SCB is worth billions of baht, mainly in deposit accounts.

"As far as l know, some Rajabhat universities have already closed their deposit accounts with SCB and more will follow. Some alumni have also told me they will also join the boycott," Mr Niwat said.

CRUPT will also contact the Council of Rajamangala University Presidents of Thailand to join their protest, he added.

Namyuth Songthanapitak, president of Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, said the nine Rajamangala universities would discuss whether to join the boycott.

Meanwhile, the SCB's head of retail banking, Phanporn Kongyingyong, said the bank had asked to meet all Rajabhat universities to clarify the bank's staff recruitment policy.

The bank recruits from all educational institutions without discrimination, she said.

Around 2,000 to 3,000 new staff are hired each year, including hundreds of graduates from Rajabhat universities.

Ms Phanporn said the SCB works with several educational institutions, including Rajabhat universities, on apprenticeships and graduate recruitment.

Several executives, trainees and other staff members are Rajabhat graduates.

"All educational institutions produce qualified graduates for the country's labour market, and the bank recruits them if they fit the job criteria," she said.  

Ms Phanporn said educational institutions were the bank's key customers, particularly regarding deposits and transactional banking services.

Many SCB branches and ATMs are located at Rajabhat universities across the country.

However, she added, the SCB could not yet forecast the impact if the entire Rajabhat network cancelled their financial transactions with the bank.

The backlash against the bank came after a Twitter user, @LadyGunga, shared an SCB recruitment notice seeking a trainee financial adviser on the social network on Friday.

Applicants were required to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 and hold a bachelor's degree from one of 14 public and private universities: Chulalongkorn, Thammasat, Kasetsart, Mahidol, Srinakharinwirot, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Assumption, Bangkok, Burapha, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Prince of Songkla, Thai Chamber of Commerce and Mae Fah Luang universities.