The Bank of Thailand Delays Virtual Bank Licensing Regulations Release

The Bank of Thailand Delays Virtual Bank Licensing Regulations Release

by May 2, 2023

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has announced that it will postpone the release of the final Virtual Bank Licensing Regulations to the third quarter of this year.

The decision was made after the bank received feedback and questions from stakeholders, including individuals, domestic and foreign firms, and the public sector, during the public consultation period from January 12 to February 12, 2023.

The bank has identified various questions and concerns about the details of the licensing regulations, which may significantly affect the decisions or business plans of applicants, as well as the business model of the proposed digital bank.

In response, the bank deems it necessary to take additional actions to ensure that digital banks can offer new value propositions to efficiently serve their customers, particularly retail customers and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs).

To ensure all applicants have sufficient and equal information to make informed decisions, the bank will clarify the conditions within the licensing regulations and elaborate on further details in the application manual.

The bank will also refine the application and selection process to ensure that all applicants receive information and opportunities equally and transparently. These include arranging a forum to provide information and clarification to all applicants simultaneously and adjusting the approach and channel for consultation between the bank and applicants to ensure equal treatment.

The bank remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering innovation and competition in the financial sector while maintaining the safety and soundness of the financial system. The Bank of Thailand anticipates submitting the final licensing regulations to the Ministry of Finance for consideration by July 2023.