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 Book Club
The Siam Commercial Bank Company Limited
The Thai Panich (Siam Commercial) Bank
SCB Historical Highlights during 1957 – 2007
The SCB and the development of commercial banking in Thailand
The Government Savings Bank
The Bank of Thailand

The Book Club opened on 4 October 1904. Phra Sanpakarn Hirunyakij, the manager, oversaw a staff of 18 Thais and four Chinese compradors. Although the contract document known as the “Notice of Book Club Formation” suggested that the “library” offered members a selection of books to read on the premises or to check out, its primary business was commercial banking.

With cash accounts paying interest at 7.5 per cent per annum, deposits totalling around about 80,000 baht were raised in a very short time. Added to its original capital, this large sum enabled the “Club” to extend loans to businesses to procure land and buildings, and to cover mortgages.

After three months, H.R.H. Prince Mahisara concluded that the Book Club was performing well, with smooth cash flows in and out. In January 1905, the Club introduced cheque withdrawal services. Because it was run by Thais, it could provide Thai and Chinese customers with good services in their own languages and clear explanations of the account debit system. As a result, it attracted a large number of customers including merchants, businessmen, and public servants.

The average cash transactions increased rapidly, with the inflow of cash rising from about 50,000 bahtper month to 500,000 baht per month.

Cash outflows rose from about 50,000 baht to 300,000 baht per month. Four months after its opening, the balance sheet indicated that profits were satisfactory, implying that the Club was performing well. Buoyed by these successes, H.R.H. Prince Mahisara embarked into international trade, notably currency exchange, until then entirely controlled by the foreign bank branches.

In April 1905 the Book Club inaugurated its foreign trade and exchange business. Although rice was the Kingdom’s most important export, foreign banks had not previously paid much attention to Thai and Chinese rice traders and millers.

Thus, the Book Club became popular because it provided equal services to everyone. The cash inflow rose to 1.14 million baht per month and at its first anniversary, the balance sheet revealed that the Bank had earned an unexpected profit of more than 90,000 baht. This success more than validated its venture into the international trade arena.

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