Foreigners administered these branches because Thais lacked sufficient banking knowledge. On the other hand, the Europeans recognized that their lack of knowledge of local customs, traditions, languages, trade practices, and asset evaluations, hampered them in dealing with Thai and Chinese traders.
To remedy the problem, they engaged local Chinese businessmen to make contacts, negotiate, provide credit analyses, evaluate risks, and collect debts for them. Called compradors, these agents were well known and trusted by local businessmen, were in good financial standing, and held deposits in the banks for which they worked.
Occasionally, these mediators were compelled to guarantee loans by using their own bank accounts as surety. They received nominal salaries but the bulk of their earnings came from commission fees calculated as a ratio of the loan amounts. This comprador system enabled Thai and Chinese traders to borrow from the foreign banks. Despite the high cost of acquiring such loans, customers had no other option since the alternative was pawnshops.