The banking system in Thailand is efficient and competitive even by Western standards. Most international banks are present, but they are restricted by law to only offer certain services and often only have one branch available. International banks in Thailand often require significant deposits, such as 100,000 Baht, as well as a recommendation letter from your origin bank in order to open an international bank account.
Thai banks offer competitive services and rates, though foreigners are limited to a savings account until they have gained some credit history through employment or savings.
Usual banking hours are 8.30-15.30, Monday trough Friday, except on public holidays, though select branches may be open until 18.00 on weekdays. These branches are usually the ones located in expat areas.
English speaking staff is available in most larger branches and are usually very helpful and willing to help foreigners. You may even be surprised at the personal attention you will receive. Outside the main expat areas, however, service is less consistent. This is another good argument for choosing a branch that is used to interacting with expats and knowing their needs. It can be very difficult to explain what you want in banking if you don’t speak the language! The list of banks below indicates those that are especially popular with expats.
Transfers from Thai bank account to Thai bank account can be done from ATM’s, branches and through Internet banking. These transactions are usually instantaneous.
International transfers usually take approximately 2-3 banking days for standard transfers. Express transfers are available and should take no more than 1-2 banking days.
Transfers from Paypal to your bank account takes 5-7 business days.
ATM machines are found on every street corner, at most 7-11 stores, in all shopping centres and at all banks throughout the city so you will never have a problem finding one. They can be used for withdrawing money, paying bills, depositing money and transferring funds.
Below is a list of all banks in Bangkok and their website addresses:
- Bangkok Bank (popular with expats); http://www.bangkokbank.com
- Bank of Ayudhaya (popular with expats); http://www.krungsri.com
- Bank of Thailand; http://www.bot.or.th
- Citibank; http://www.citibank.co.th
- Deutsche Bank; http://www.db.com/thailand
- Export-Import Bank; http://www.exim.go.th
- HSBC; http://www.hsbc.co.th
- Kasikorn Bank (popular with expats); http://www.kasikornbank.com
- Krung Thai Bank; http://www.ktb.co.th
- RHB Bank; http://www.rhb.com.my/branches/thailand/main.html
- Siam Commercial Bank (popular with expats); http://www.scb.co.th/eng/main.shtml
- TISCO Bank; http://www.tisco.co.th/en;
- TMB Bank (popular with expats); http://www.tmbbank.com
- UOB Bank; http://www.uob.co.th