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Banks/Banking in Thailand

Thailand in Southeast Asia lies between Myanmar north and west, Cambodia to Southeast and Laos to north and east. Thailand has viewed a strong economic growth, but recently the economy has suffered a lot due to global financial crisis as the demands also drop for exports significantly. Speaking of banks in Thailand, the Central bank is the main bank of Thailand.

The other commercial banks in Thailand are Bangkok Bank, Siam City Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Bank Thai, Krung Thai Bank (state commercial bank of Thailand) and Thai Military Bank (TMB bank). Banking in Thailand is exclusively made of big Thai banks namely, the Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Bangkok Bank.

These banks are the main players. Thai banking is undergoing liberalization phase and expects the foreign banks presence very shortly, initiating with Standard Chartered Bank.

Main Bank

The central bank of this country is the main Bank of Thailand. However, Thailand has many financial institutions varying in laws and agencies. Majority are privately owned, while few are state owned.

The Bank of Thailand had authority and responsibility for monetary control and served as the financier of the government and as the fiscal agent, besides regulating money supply, banking system, foreign exchange and as lender lastly.

The other facilities that were state-owned included the Industrial Finance Corporation of Thailand, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, the Government Savings Bank, the Government housing bank and small industry finance corporation.

Bank Status

The mid 1980s showed that Thailand had 30 commercial banks plus 1526 branches to handle all financial transactions. The largest 16 banks accounted for more than 90% of deposits, assets and loans of commercial banks, indicating little competition and high concentration in the industry of banking in Thailand. However, in spite of this impressive growth shown by banks, the new banks entrance was restricted.

Security and finance companies formed the second largest financial institutions group with assets equaling 22% of commercial banks. The finance companies were formed by domestic and foreign banks and this was done to overcome banking limits. This increased the competition among commercial banks, but the purpose was not met as many banks took assistance from companies for their activities.