Banking - Thailand

Banks in Thailand provide a good range of services throughout the country and many of the foreign banks are also represented. Below is a general insight into the banking situation of Thailand.

Opening hours are usually from 8.30-15.30 Monday to Friday except for bank and public holidays.

Strictly speaking foreigners cannot open a bank account without a work permit but they usually allow foreigners to open savings accounts. Cheques can be paid into a savings account and clearance time is about 1.5 days. Foreign currency accounts can be opened but they are subject to Thailand 's foreign exchange rules. Interest rates are very low but there is normally no charge.

Several forms of identification will be required to open an account including passport, current credit cards, work permit etc. and most will require a letter from your employer together with current visa status.

  • Passport
  • Work permit
  • Thai Nationality reference (only for international bank accounts)
  • A minimum deposit of 500 Baht
  • The first deposit for an International bank account has to be transferred from overseas

Cash Point Machines (ATMs)

Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are readily available throughout Bangkok and in some of these VISA, MasterCard and American Express cards can also be used as long as you have your pin number. All machines display what cards can be used at that particular ATM.
Major currency notes and travellers cheques are often exchanged at hotels and large shops, all provincial banks, most shopping centres and money changers. Exchange rates are usually best at banks and authorized money changers while current exchange rates will be found in newspapers or at banks and money changers.

Mortgages

Until recently, mortgages have been unavailable to foreigners for property purchase in Thailand. However, in line with the government’s drive to increase foreign ownership in Thailand, certain banks, eg. Bangkok Bank are now offering limited mortgage services, and other loans to foreigners. This is seen as a major breakthrough by property developers and agents, and will inevitably increase demand for Thai property.


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