Foreign banks operating in Thailand reiterated their readiness to increase lending in an effort to help maintain the country’s economic growth momentum.
Country executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, noted that while the central bank assured everybody of continued growth, foreign banks yesterday raised questions about the trend of interest rates, the rate of foreign exchange and the excess liquidity, which stands at more than Bt3 trillion.
According to Pakorn, BOT had told foreign banks that excess liquidity could be absorbed through the repurchase and swap markets. It also assured the banks that it would maintain exchange rate stability in line with the market mechanism.
Willie Tham, chief executive officer of HSBC (Thailand) in his capacity as chairman of the Foreign Bankers’ Association, said he foresaw exportdriven economic growth momentum and continued increase in loans with controllable nonperforming loans.
He asserted that more foreign enterprises, especially those in the automotive industry, were interested in investing in Thailand. Besides, he said, no HSBC clients have moved their investment out of the country, particularly those in the manufacturing sector, owing to the continued export growth.
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The approved Financial Institution Business Act (FIBA) facilitates increase in foreign ownership in Thai foreign institutions. The Financial Institution Business Act (FIBA) became effective on 3 August 2008 as planned. The FIBA allows financial institutions to raise the foreign limit from 25 percent to 49 percent with permission from the BOT and foreign investors may own more than 49 percent equity stake in Thai banks with permission from the Ministry of Finance and recommendation by the BOT. The increase in foreign limit would encourage Thai banks to seek foreign strategic partners to strengthen the capital base, improve core banking business, IT platform, know-how and add inorganic growth to Thai banks.
Thai banks provide a wide range of services throughout the country. Most foreign banks are represented, however, at this stage they offer limited services to the individual consumer. Banking hours are generally from 08:30-15:30, Monday through Friday, except on public and bank holidays. It is best to confirm the business hours of your chosen bank at the time of opening an account
All banks require several forms of identification (i.e. passport, work permit, current credit cards, etc.) and most will request a letter of introduction from your employer along with details of your current visa status. Phone ahead to determine what your bank requires. Usually, it comes down to the following:
Relevant Documents for Opening Saving Bank Account
- Work Permit
- Require Thai Nationality reference (For International Bank Account only)
- A minimum deposit amount 500 Baht for a Thai bank and 5,000 for Standard Charter Bank or 100,000 Baht for HSBC (The remaining amount of each month must not less than 500,000 Baht)
- The minimum deposit at the International Bank Account as US Dollar is up to the bank such as USD 10,000 for Standard Charter Bank or USD 15,000 for HSBC.
- Recommendation letter from an origin country bank (For International Bank Account only – Deposit as US Dollar)
- The first deposit for the International Bank Account must be transferred from oversea only.
- Certified true copy of the company’s registration certificate;
- Certified true copy of the official document detailing particulars of directors and secretary;
- Certified true copy of the company’s articles of associations;
- Certified true copy of the list of shareholders;
- Bearer share declaration form; and Certified true copy of passport of directors and all authorised signatories.