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Any foreign owned banks operating in Thailand?


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I'm planning to transfer money into Thailand for a condo purchase, and also want to save funds for the future - but I'm concerned about the stability of the Thai banks. 

 

I have a local bank account for salary, but keep the balance to below the limit protected by the Thai Government (which I understand is 1 million THB?) by spending most of my salary on food and general debauchery.  I also have a Standard Chartered bank account for savings, and I opened this because I assumed that a foreign-owned bank with little debt was safer than the Thai banks that tend to have high debt levels.  But Standard Chartered Thailand has now been bought by Tisco, so it's now no more stable than any other Thai owned bank. 

 

With the recent measures by the Thai Government to raise more cash through taxation, plus the less-than-rosy economy, I'm looking for the lowest risk option.  So are there any alternatives to a Thai bank to keep local savings reasonably safe?  I think that foreign banks are restricted on their operations here - so if there's no foreign banks, are any of the Thai banks considered to be safer than others?  I've seen some reports of SCB having meetings with the Government over debt levels, which makes me think they may be higher risk than the other banks - but I may be looking the issue in a simplistic way?

 

Are any of the Thai banks considered to be lower risk?  Or are there other solutions to my (possibly unfounded) concerns?

 

Practical suggestions and thoughts very welcome (and please no stock market investment schemes, as I've already lost enough money due to the local, unlicensed financial 'advisors').

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Several  banks in Thailand are majority owned by a foreign company, but even those banks must operate under Thai laws and Bank of Thailand regulations...and all are licensed by the Bank of Thailand.   Summary: I wouldn't worry about any major bank being more reliable or financially stable than the other regardless of whether it majority owned by a foreign company or a Thai company.

 

Banks accounts in Thailand currently have deposit insurance/coverage for Bt15.  It doesn't go down to Bt1M until 11 Aug 20 and maybe even be extended.

 

http://www.dpa.or.th/main.php?filename=index___EN

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1 hour ago, Pib said:

Several  banks in Thailand are majority owned by a foreign company, but even those banks must operate under Thai laws and Bank of Thailand regulations...and all are licensed by the Bank of Thailand.   Summary: I wouldn't worry about any major bank being more reliable or financially stable than the other regardless of whether it majority owned by a foreign company or a Thai company.

 

Banks accounts in Thailand currently have deposit insurance/coverage for Bt15.  It doesn't go down to Bt1M until 11 Aug 20 and maybe even be extended.

 

http://www.dpa.or.th/main.php?filename=index___EN

 

 

 

Thank you - very useful.

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UOB would be a good alternative to Stan Chart. It has similar status to SCBT in Thailand as a sort of hybrid foreign bank with local status.

 

The parent company UOB is well run and arguably the Singaporean Bank is much stronger than Stan Chartered globally. UOB Singapore certainly has a better credit rating than any Thai bank

 

A foreign parent in my view does offer additional benefits beyond hopefully extending best practices. Whether the parent company is technically / legally bound to support its overseas subsidiary or not, the moral obligation and global regional reputation kick in. It would be disastrous for UOB parent not to bail out UOB Thailand if it had issues. Otherwise it would sends the signal that no UOB bank in any country would be safe it doesn't. It can't afford to set such a precedent.

 

So it has sort of 2 levels of protection: 1) local, 2) foreign.

 

In addition in terms of regulator, as well as being regulated by BOT in Thailand, Singapore's regulator MAS also takes an interest in the Singaporean Bank's overseas activities. MAS is arguably a stronger regulator.

 

As a Stan Chart customer I'll wait to see how Tisco pans out. Mindful also of the decreasing DPA mentioned above. UOB would be top of my list if replacing Stan Chart with a foreign parent-owned bank.

 

I also bank with Stan Chart Singapore, so UOB's home presence there would be an advantage too if switching. UOB's regional strategy also means they are more likely to stay the course with their retail business in Thailand. Unlike Stan Chart, HSBC etc which have reviewed their global strategies and decided Thailand retail business doesn't cut it

 

Cheers

Fletch :) 

 

 

Edited by fletchsmile
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