Thailand is a popular destination for tourists and expats alike, and as such, its banking system caters to both locals and foreigners. In this article, we will answer some commonly asked questions about banking in Thailand, including the main local banks, whether major UK and USA banks have a presence, accounts and services specifically aimed at expats, typical bank opening hours, areas of concern for expats, and how to open a bank account in Thailand.
Main local banks and their contact details
The main local banks in Thailand are:
- Bangkok Bank – website: www.bangkokbank.com, customer service hotline: 1333
- Kasikorn Bank – website: www.kasikornbank.com, customer service hotline: 02-888-8888
- Siam Commercial Bank – website: www.scb.co.th, customer service hotline: 02-777-7777
- Krungthai Bank – website: www.ktb.co.th, customer service hotline: 02-111-1111
- TMB Bank – website: www.tmbbank.com, customer service hotline: 02-626-1111
Major UK and USA banks in Thailand
Major UK and USA banks that have a presence in Thailand include:
- HSBC – website: www.hsbc.co.th, customer service hotline: 02-832-9000
- Citibank – website: www.citibank.co.th, customer service hotline: 02-232-2484
- Standard Chartered Bank – website: www.sc.com/th, customer service hotline: 02-788-7888
- JPMorgan Chase – website: www.jpmorgan.com, customer service hotline: 02-788-5000
Accounts and services for expats
Most banks in Thailand offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. These include:
- Non-resident accounts – these accounts are designed for individuals who do not reside in Thailand but require a local bank account. Non-resident accounts can be opened with just a passport and do not require a work permit or residency.
- Foreign currency accounts – these accounts allow individuals to hold foreign currencies in their accounts, which can be useful for expats who receive income in a foreign currency.
- Online banking – most banks in Thailand offer online banking, which can be useful for expats who need to manage their finances remotely.
- International money transfers – many banks in Thailand offer international money transfer services, which can be useful for expats who need to send money to their home country or receive money from abroad.
Typical bank opening hours
Most banks in Thailand are open from Monday to Friday, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Some banks may also be open on Saturdays, but with shorter opening hours.
Areas of concern for expats
Expats in Thailand should be aware of the following areas of concern regarding the banking system:
- Fees – some banks may charge higher fees for certain services, so it is important to shop around and compare different banks before opening an account.
- Language barriers – while many banks in Thailand offer services in English, expats may still encounter language barriers when communicating with bank staff or reading banking documents.
- Currency fluctuations – expats who hold foreign currency accounts should be aware of currency fluctuations, as these can affect the value of their savings or income.
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account in Thailand as an expat is a straightforward process. Here are the steps:
Opening A Bank Account
Choose a bank: Research and compare different banks to find one that meets your needs. Look for a bank that offers services in English and has convenient locations.
Gather the required documents: To open an account, you will need to provide the following documents:
Passport: You will need to present a valid passport that shows your photo and signature.
Non-Immigrant Visa: If you are not a Thai resident, you will need to provide proof of your non-immigrant status.
Work Permit: If you are working in Thailand, you will need to provide your work permit.
Proof of address: You will need to provide a utility bill or other official document that shows your address in Thailand.
Visit the bank: Once you have chosen a bank and gathered the required documents, visit the bank’s branch during operating hours.
Fill out the application form: The bank will provide you with an application form to fill out. Make sure to provide accurate and complete information.
Submit the documents: Along with the application form, submit the required documents.
Wait for approval: The bank will review your application and documents. If everything is in order, your account will be approved and opened.
Activate your account: Once your account is opened, you will receive a debit card and PIN. Activate your account by visiting an ATM and following the instructions.
In conclusion, banking in Thailand can be a simple and convenient process for expats. With a wide range of banks offering various services and accounts, it’s important to research and compare to find the best fit for your needs. By following the steps outlined above, expats can open a bank account in Thailand and enjoy the benefits of secure and convenient financial services.