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BEST TRADING BANKS FOR FOREIGNERS

IN THAILAND

For a foreigner opening a Company in Thailand holding a Bank Account and receiving the right services are an important step to good Banking. Note in Thailand to hold an account in one City and transferring funds from that city to another one will incur a Banking fee which is not usually invoiced to you. The higher the sum transferred the more the Bank fees and the Bank charges -- so much for interbanking but if you use an ATM card then the fees are less and instant..

WHICH BANK TO USE FOR EXPORTERS & TT PAYMENTS:

From our experience we have found the best Bank is the Bangkok Bank. For TTs and information reagrding funds transferrd from abroad this Bank is OK. They also have a Head Office tel number you can call to get information on any remits from abroad. Bangkok Bank also have overseas branches in Singapore and Hong Kong and are perhaps the preferred Bank.

The Kasikornbank takes approx 4 working days to clear your TTs. They do not have the online help as good as Bangkok Bank and many branches will not be able to find the TT transfer you need. They also state that it may take 3-4 days to find info on your TT remit even though it shows up in your Bank Account.

WHICH BANK NOT TO USE:

Krung Thai Bank is the peoples Bank but for TTs they told us they cannot access info on a TT until 1 week after the transaction shows up in your Bank Account. (Quote Pattaya Branch 19th March 09). This is not good for exporters and forerigners who need this information as it arrives to verify payment from buyers. They also said there is no help info line to call??? if you do have a problem so for exporters best go with the Bangkok Bank. For general everyday accounts they are OK like every other Bank.

When the last crash came abut Siam Commercial held TTS for some time from foreigners. One of our customers had to wait a month for a $US64,000 remit from overseas while the Bank dallied around with his money. This is not good practise and perhaps these banks have taken steps to offer better TT services to customers but the Bangkok Bank is the best we think.

HELP LINE :

Trying to get satisfactory answers can be a nightmare for foreigners in Thailand. Some Bank information the tellers will never know as they do not seem to have information.

ATM CARDS & DEBIT CARDS :

Trying to get the right card is important and there are many toi choose from according to your circumstances so best ask. Bangkok Bank are closing the normal ATM card in favour of the Debit card. More ATMs are opening all the time and most 7/11 outlets have ATMs now. Be on the alert when using a machine and withdrawing as the Thailand situation in the 2009 crises has seen many scams etc with ATMs. The latest a Chinese Malay used a swipe card to insert under your card to gain access to your information then milk your account-- lucky he was caught with over 3m baht in March 2009. A normal ATM card only allows 20,000 baht per day but a Debit card offers you more.

Travelling on the BTS is now easier with a new top-up service launched by Bangkok Bank in conjunction with BTS. This allows cardholders of a Be1st-BTS card, Blue Wave credit card and BTS SmartPass card to add credit to their card for SkyTrain travel using a Bangkok Bank ATM at any BTS station. The new service allows cardholders to top up their cards quick and easily. Bangkok Bank is continuing to work hard to understand and meet customers’ needs with new products and services. Customers interested in finding out more about the new service can ask for more information at a Bangkok Bank branch in Bangkok or call Bualuang Phone 1333 or visit www.bangkokbank.com


LOST CREDIT CARDS:

1/.American Express IBM Bldg., 388 Pahonyothin Road Tel: 273-0033. After hours Tel: 02 273-0044,  02 273-0022.
2/. Diners Club 12th Floor, Silom Complex, 191 Silom Road Tel: 02 238-3660. 
3/. Master Card For lost or stolen cards. Tel: 314-275-6690. Collect call to USA. (24 hours)
4/. Visa Card Local banks and some foreign banks issue Visa cards. For lost or 
stolen cards, Tel: 02 256-7326. 
5/. Citibank Card lost or stolen cards. Tel. 1588 (4 digits only)

THAI BANK ACCOUNTS:

When opening a Cheque Company Bank account the Bangkok Bank requires the following especially a cheque account:  1/. Passport, visa etc & copies;  2/. Original company papers under 1month old. You must redo at the Commercial Registration company cost 200 baht approx. 3/. Letter from Directors saying you can open the account and also who will be the signatory on the cheques & any conditions. 4/.Work permit 5/. House registration & also ID & House of Registration of Thai director.

NORMAL SAVINGS ACCOUNT:

Criteria differs between banks but the norm is: 1/. Passport at Kasaikorn Bank or Bangkok Bank  is all one needs but other banks may want  2/. Immigration paper stating where you live & require a bank account 3/.Copies of passport, visa 4/. House registration or lease copy where you live ( but this has been waivered in 2009). 

Although some banks ask for a work permit many long termers do not have this so they normally waiver the requirements and as at 2006 most banks will allow you to open savings accounts with just your passport. Ask for a PLUS facility ATM card or with Bangkok Bank so you can have a debit card and then enjoy booking airfares on the net etc as well as using the card to transact PLUS facilities using your ATM in another country to access your Thai Savings account . 

OUR ADVICE TO FOREIGNERS IN THAILAND:

Bring in only as much as you need to weather the economic crises. Some Banks will find it hard as they are recalling loans from property developers etc who are not selling. Spread your accounts and maybe one 2 accounts in different Banks but for those retirees and expats who live here only bring in as and when you need. The situation in Thailand will no doubt change later in 2009.

  BANK SITUATION MARCH 2009:

Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Tarisa Watanagase on Wednesday said non-performing loans (NPLs) incurred by the country’s financial institutions were rising as a result of the sagging economy as debtors are having greater difficulty to complete repayment. local commercial banks still have a high level of excess liquidity.


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