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 bank was originally part of the “Klang Om Sin (Government’s Savings Treasury)”. After its services commenced in April 1913, the bank’s operations were deemed so successful that it opened another branch at the Department of Customs in the same year.

The bank soon became popular among the people and it opened branches in several regions of the country such as the Chachoengsao Treasury branch at Prachinburi. In 1914 more branches were opened in other regions such as Krungkao, Chanthaburi, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Sawan, Pitasanulok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Pattani, Phuket, Chumporn, and Payap.

The bank’s business also expanded rapidly to the post offices and district revenue offices in Phra Nakorn (Bangkok), Thonburi, and other provinces in 1916 after the government declared a stop to gambling and lotteries. This was an opportunity to expand the bank’s branches to provide deposition services for people who used to spend their money on lotteries.

Although the Government’s Savings Bank expanded its branch network rapidly in the early days of business, it was necessary to build up the bank’s accountability amongst the people. The bank had a limited scope of business including fixed-term savings, deposits at call, and dealing in government bonds.

Later in 1929 in the period of economic depression, King Rama VII gave royal permission to transfer the bank to operate under the Department of Posts and Telegrams, the Ministry of Commerce and Transportation, to make it more convenient for the people. The bank initiated new businesses such as travel savings, capital accumulation savings and house deposit savings. By the end of 1936, a total of 104 branches of the Government’s Savings Bank around the country.

After World War II, the government separated the Government’s Savings Bank from the ministerial system. The Government’s Savings Bank Act was promulgated in 1946 and the bank has been an independent organization since 1947.

The Siam Commercial Bank terminated its savings account service after the Government’s Savings Treasury was established in 1913 to promote savings more widely among the people. To support the government’s new banking business, the SCB turned its focus to expanding in provincial areas. To cater for the trade centres in the south and the north of the country, it decided to open branches at Tung Song district, which was a railway junction in Nakhon Sri Thammarat province in 1920, at Chiang Mai in 1927 and Lampang in 1930.

These branches were intended to facilitate and provide financial services to the mining business in the south and the forestry, sawmill, tobacco, tobacco curing businesses and other trades along the northern boarders.

The worldwide economic depression led to administrative changes in Thailand in 1932 and the Khana Rat government put forward policies to provide support and loans for basic private industries. Coupled with a general trade recovery, Thai exports increased and the commercial banking business thrived again. A number of Chinese merchants and business owners applied for licenses to establish banks as follows:

  • Liew Yong Heng Bank, Ltd. 1933
  • Hai Shua Bank 1933
  • Kuang Ko Long Bank 1933
  • Wang Li Chan Bank, Ltd. 1933
  • Sun Li Bank, Ltd. 1933
  • Tan Pang Chun Bank, Ltd. 1934
  • Thai Pattana Bank, Ltd. 1934
  • Sun Hok Seng Bank, Ltd. 1938
  • Asia Bank for Industry and Commerce, Ltd. 1939
  • Siam City Bank, Ltd. 1941
  • These new banks were operated by businessmen who had experience in or had benefited from the “Pouy Kuan” business, a money transfer service with China. However, they were short of skilled banking staff, had limited capital and lacked links with other businesses.

    Therefore, these banks soon faced similar problems to what had occurred previously and many had to terminate their operations or saw their licenses withdrawn. Only banks that had good administration and large capital bases managed to overcome the obstacles and survive.

    During World War II only a few Thai banks, one of which was The Siam Commercial Bank, stayed open for business. The SCB had to be fully responsible for commercial banking services in the country. The Japanese armies occupying the region required large quantities of military supplies and raw materials and a financial system was needed to address these needs.

    The Japanese military made several requests to the Thai government, one of which was that the government establish a central bank to act as the government’s financial representative. In order to make the country financially independent, the Thai government therefore decided to establish the Bank of Thailand.

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