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Banking in Thailand



    

With ฿500 and a passport you should be able to open a bank account in Thailand (although there have been reports that some banks will ask for proof of residence in country).  You will need a bank account for a number of reasons.  If you are going to apply for a retirement visa you will need to show ฿800,000 deposited for at least 3 months, or ฿65,000 per month income.  That money will have to be in a Thai bank.  Banks offer ATM cards and also debit and credit cards.  There are ATMs all over the country so carrying large amounts of cash around is not necessary anymore.  Thais have not gotten much into using checks which is no real problem for Expats as only permanent residents are allowed to open checking accounts anyway. Many banks have online banking and will allow online bill paying, which can make things very convenient.

 

Click below for a list of banks in Thailand.

 

Banks in Thailand

 

 

 Another reason for having a Thai bank account is getting the money you will need to live on here (or for large purchases like a car or property) you will probably have to transfer money from abroad to here.  One of the quickest and safest way is to electronically transfer, or wire, the money.  In order to wire money internationally you will need the name of the bank, the name on the account, the account number and the bank's SWIFT Code (Society for Wire Intercommunications of Funds Transfer) which identifies your bank.  Ask your bank for its SWIFT code or find it in the list below.

 

Note:  Most countries have laws that state that we cannot institute a wire transfer of more than $5,000 without being physically present.  That means that we would have to be in the country of origin (or have someone there do it for us) to wire more than that amount.

    

 

Bank SWIFT Codes

Bank Name SWIFT Code

                          American Express Bank

AEIB US 33

Bangkok Bank Ltd.

BKKB TH BK

Bank Of America

BOFA US 3N

Bank of Ayudhya Public Co. Ltd.

AYUD TH BK

Bank of Hawaii

BOHI US 77

Bank of New York

IRVT US 3N

Bankers Trust Company

BKTR US 33

Barclays Bank PLC

BARC GB 22

Citibank N.A.

CITI US 33

First Chicago International

FNBC US 33

First Union National Bank

PNBP US 33

Harris Bank Intl Corp

HATR US 33

HSBC Bank Plc

MIDL GB 22

JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.

CHAS US 33

Krung Thai Bank Public Co. Ltd.

KRTH TH BK

Lloyds Bank Plc

LOYD GB 2L

National Westminster Bank Plc

NWBK GB 2L

Standard Chartered Bank London

SCBL GB 2L

Standard Chartered Bank New York

SCBL US 33

The Siam Commercial Bank Plc.

SICO TH BK

Union Bank of California

BOFC US 33

United Overseas Bank (Thai) Public Co. Ltd.

BKAS TH BK

   

    

CitiBank has instituted a system where you can wire as much as $50,000 per day.  See the steps below.

 

 Making wire transfers from your home bank to Thailand (with CitiBank).

 

1. Open up a Citibank checking or money market account in your home

country.

2. Set up an on-line banking account with CitiBank.

3. When transferring money go to CitiBank’s on-line wire transfer

page (www.citibank.com) .

4. Have the following information available:

The name of the person who will be receiving the money.

The Bank name and account number receiving the money.

                  The Bank’s SWIFT code Society for Worldwide Interbank

5. The transfer will take up to a few days to complete. The money can stay in dollars or be converted into baht.

6. The minimum you can send is $1 and the maximum is $50,000 per day.

7.  Cost is $40 per transaction.

 

If you need to get a large amount of money here and you cannot wire it all at once your bank may be able to accept a personal check.  The problem is that while some banks might take only a few weeks to clear a foreign check others may take up to 3 months.  If you are looking into opening an account you might want to take how long checks take to clear into consideration.

    

Things to consider when looking for a bank

 

     Does someone there speak your language?

     What is their customer service like?

     Do they have online banking?

     Do they have online bill pay?

     How long do foreign checks take to clear?

     Do they have ATMs and where are they located?

     Do they offer debit and credit cards?

 
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