Thai Central Bank invites feedback on its plan to set up virtual banks

The Bank of Thailand is open to feedback from all stakeholders, until the end of this month, about its plan to set up virtual banks in Thailand, Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said today (Wednesday).

He said that the feedback will be used to fine-tune in the drawing up of guidelines to enable virtual banks to become a new financial platform for the promotion of the digital economy.

He noted, however, that the formation of such banks must take into account risk management, sustainability, development of digital technology, a competitive marketplace and the mitigation of any adverse impacts.

He also said the central bank will seek to minimise the regulatory burden on service providers by pushing them to adopt financial technologies.

Assistant Governor for Financial Institutions Policy Roong Mallikamas said she expects the guidelines to be available by the middle of the year, adding that she believes virtual banking will meet the changing needs of consumers and, in particular, will help address the household debt problem.

According to the Bank of Thailand, the financial sector in Thailand, for the past five years, has migrated to digital banking, with the number of internet banking and mobile banking accounts surging to 121 million, from 36 million, and the volume of transaction through internet and mobile banking increasing from 800 million to 14.4 billion, an eighteen fold increase.

Meanwhile, about 1,400 bank branch offices have been closed down during that five-year period.


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