Thailand's state-owned Government Savings Bank (GSB) President Worawit Chailimpamontri resigned Tuesday after its clients and employees protested against loans to help the caretaker government make overdue payments to rice farmers.
The board of directors will continue to serve as a caretaker after his resignation, Worawit was quoted by the Nation newspaper as saying.
Clients nationwide withdrew on Monday a total of 30 billion baht (924 million U.S. dollars) from the GSB for fear that their deposits would be used to pay rice farmers owed under the rice- pledging scheme. Most withdrawals happened in Bangkok, adjacent provinces and southern provinces.
GSB employees are also reported to have rallies at the headquarters.
It is reported the GSB has already decided to suspend further lending to the state-run Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) to fund the rice scheme.
Currently, the caretaker government owes about 130 billion baht (4 billion U.S. dollars) to around 1 million farmers nationwide.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the rice scheme will be continually implemented and attributed the government's delay in paying the farmers to prolonged anti-government protests.
She said the BAAC's borrowing of the money from state-owned banks was endorsed by a cabinet resolution.
In a separate incident, four people were killed and 64 others injured during a police operation Tuesday to reclaim from anti- government protesters five rally sites in capital Bangkok.
According to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Erawan Emergency Medical Centre, three civilians and a policeman were killed and 64 others injured in a clash between police and protesters while the police were trying to retake the rally site near the Democracy Monument.