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

Two years after the Bank’s Thai name change, Thailand received the full brunt of World War II. Japanese troops invaded Thailand on the night of 7 December 1941, then moved down the Malay Peninsula to capture Singapore, and westward to fight in Burma. Having no option but to cooperate with the Japanese, the Thai government in January 1942 declared war on the Allies. Under constraints imposed by its occupiers, the Kingdom’s foreign trading was limited to Japan and its allies and colonies.

Throughout World War II, the economic climate in Thailand deteriorated and businesses experienced hard times. Several firms closed with no clear expectation of resuming operations and commercial banks faced major difficulties. The Thai Panich Bank was immediately affected when the Bank’s manager, by dint of being American, was declared an enemy alien and interned.

To cope with this turn of events, the Bank appointed the former director of the Thai National Bank Office, Mr. Leng Srisomwong, as its new manager. Despite difficult conditions, in 1942 the Bank succeeded in opening another branch in Nakhon Ratchasima, in an area with many important businesses related to agriculture. In 1944, when Mr Leng Srisomwong received Royal appointment to become the Deputy Finance Minister, the Bank appointed Mr. Abhorn Krishnamra as its new manager.

As a consequence of the war, foreign banks in Thailand belonging to countries declared enemies by Japan were forced to close. The sudden shortage of banking services resulted in the establishment of many new Thai commercial banks, such as

  • The Monthon (Provincial) Bank Limited (1942)
  • The Bangkok Bank of Commerce, Ltd. (1944)
  • The Bangkok Bank Ltd. (1944)
  • The Bank of Ayudhya Ltd. (1945)
  • The Thai Farmers Bank, Ltd. (1945)
  • Although the new banks recruited staff from the foreign banks that had been compelled to close, the personnel of these new banks were inexperienced. These new banks were also obliged to carry high liability in providing loans and services since the country was at war.

    The Thai Panich Bank was the only bank with considerable knowledge and experience in international trade, due to its and long and successful history. The Bank, therefore, found itself representing traders and undertaking responsibility for providing loan services and managing international financial affairs until the war ended.

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