Introduction to the Thai Bank Museum The Evolution of Money The Evolution of Banking The Prototype for Thai banks Siam Commercial Bank’s Advance to the present
The Evolution of Banking
The inauguration of banking in Thailand
The Father of Thai Banks

H.R.H. Mahisara is regarded as the father of Thai banks. The son of King Mongkut (Rama IV) and his queen, Huang, H.R.H. Prince Mahisara was born on Monday, the 13th night of the waxing moon, in the 3rd month of 1865.

In his youth, he served as a royal guard before moving to the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary.

His talents were soon recognized and he was promoted to successively higher offices, ultimately becoming Minister of the Royal Household.

His great intelligence and capability led to his being raised to the rank of Royal Prince in 1895, when he was only 30 years old. His name was recorded in the gilded royal records as “Phrachao Nongyather Prince Mahisara Musikkanam, with a land status of 150,000” i.e. holding 150,000 rai (0.4 acres) of land bestowed by the king. He was also made a Colonel of the Royal Guard. After his promotion, he was elevated to serve as Minister of the Royal Treasury, the equivalent of Finance Minister. In 1897, he was selected to accompany King Chulalongkorn on the first royal state visit to Europe by a Siamese monarch.

During his term as Finance Minister, the Prince brought many improvements to the Thai monetary system. The numerous currencies in circulation were reduced to two units, baht and satang, making it easier to record the units of money in balance sheets. He initiated the production of banknotes for general circulation.

He also sought to establish a central bank to monitor the country’s financial system. Since Thailand was far from ready to undertake such a complex task, the Prince concentrated on setting up a commercial bank instead.

Satisfied that his “Book Club” had laid the groundwork, on 29 May 1906 he requested royal permission to establish “The Siam Commercial Bank Company Limited” and was granted a commercial bank license to begin business on 30 January 1906.

Known in Thai as “Tanakarn Thai Panich”, the Bank’s rapid growth encouraged its managers to open branches in all regions of Thailand.

The Bank’s success today is the fruit of H.R.H. Prince Mahisara’s innovative vision and determination. Moreover, his careful planning provided the foundation for the creation of commercial banks in Thailand, justification for regarding him as “The Father of Thai Banking”.

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