has 14 domestically incorporated banks, two foreign bank subsidiaries, 12
foreign bank branches and one retail bank. Domestic banks dominate the market
with a market share of 88%. Increasing participation from special financial
institutions, non-banks and saving cooperatives promotes financial access for
The Bank of Thailand -
The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the central bank of the
country which headquarter is in Bangkok, was set up in accordance to
regulations imposed by the Bank of Thailand Act in 1942. The main functions of
BOT are regarded as managing banking facilities, supervising foreign exchange
control, as well as monitoring the region-wide economic situations. It also has
representative offices in London and New York.
The Roles and Responsibilities of BOT are as follows:
Print and issue the Thai banknotes
Manage the central bank's assets
Provide loans to the local government and financial
institutions and act as registrar for government bonds
Supervise and regulate financial institutions
Manage foreign exchange rate and foreign reserve assets
in accordance to the Currency Act
Control foreign exchange with the Exchange Control Act
Promote monetary stability and formulate monetary
Thai commercial banks are made up of branches and
representative offices of foreign banks. They function according to the Thai
laws and regulations set up by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Bank of
Thailand (BOI.). Thai commercial banks provide services of time savings and
demand deposits, loan making by discounted bills, overdrafts and hire
purchases. Services like syndication of loans, custodian services, merger and
acquisition, project feasibility studies etc help them generate fee incomes.
They also engage in the issuance of negotiable certificates of deposit and
underwriting services of debt instruments.
To open a branch in Thailand, a foreign bank has to
comply with rules and regulations set up by the Thai government. For instance,
money should to be brought from its overseas head office. Thailand government
allows foreign banks to acquire shareholding of 100% for a maximum of 10 years.
If they hold over 49% of shares sold, they are not allowed to acquire
Special Purpose Bank
Special-purpose banks are state-owned companies to
finance activities of particular economic sectors. Their activities are
supervised and administered by the Thailand government. They lend out loans at
preferential interest rates to specific clients for particular projects.
Examples of special purpose banks are the Government Savings Bank, the Bank for
Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, and the Government Housing- Bank.
Government Savings Bank
The Government Savings Bank was first set up in 1913 when
King Rama VI set up the Savings Office. The Savings office was later
transformed into the Post & Telegraph Department. Its assets and
liabilities were eventually taken over in 1947 by the newly formed Government
Government Savings Bank has widespread network of offices in the country. It is
mainly engaged in collecting savings of small amounts by demand, savings, and
time deposits and premium savings bonds. In Bangkok, for instance, it has been
running door-to-door floating services 6 days per week for over 30 years.
Customers inform the floating bank to stop at their living places by putting a
small flag outside homes to indicate needs for deposit or withdrawal
from small depositors are main source of funding for financing infrastructure
projects of governments. Until recently, it invested money in government bonds
and securities as well as promissory notes. It also increases use of funds in
loan lending to enterprises and individuals of private sectors.
The following are
the most well-known and largest banks in terms of assets.
1. Bangkok Bank
Bangkok Bank is the
largest bank in Thailand in terms of assets, with a total of US $78 billion.
The bank consists of 1,238 branches locally, 9,211 ATM machines, and has 26 international
branches in 13 nations, making them the top Thai bank with the largest overseas
branch network.Founded on October 8, 1999, the bank is a publicly listed
company and among the top 5 companies in terms of size in the Stock Exchange of
2. Kasikorn Bank
Formerly known as
the Thai Farmers Bank, its total assets amount to US$ 70.8 billion. Established
on June 8, 1945, the bank offers consumer banking, commercial banking, and
corporate banking services among others.