For the world’s economy, 2021 hasn’t yet brought a break from 2020; COVID-19 remains dominant. Although all banking systems are vulnerable to upheaval, the situations for those in emerging markets are more tenuous for several reasons. S&P Global Ratings examined the three major risks facing a sample of 15 EM countries, including likely deterioration in asset quality, geopolitical and domestic policy uncertainty and vulnerability to abrupt changes in investor sentiment.
Thailand’s COVID-19 experience is not unique: lockdowns, closed borders, shuttered businesses, reduced exports, dropping property values—all adding up to a disastrous year. Tourism is a large component of Thailand’s economic prosperity, so its loss has hit hard. What do the country’s prospects look like as the pandemic grinds on worldwide, although not in Thailand, which combated the virus successfully? And what can it do to soften the economic blow?
Interview with Vitai Ratanakorn, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Boonson Jenchaimahakoon, First Senior Executive Vice President-Technology, of Government Savings Bank
Thailand’s Government Savings Bank has financially assisted the country’s citizens since 1913, today offering much more than savings accounts. State-owned, it seeks to enhance the financial welfare of private citizens and businesses. Recently, the bank has devoted itself to making the most of digital channels to serve customers best. During our interview, Vitai Ratanakorn, President and CEO, and Boonson Jenchaimahakoon, First Senior EVP-Technology, described GSB’s current goals and latest innovations.
Southeast Asia, with a high percentage of its population still underbanked but with growing economies and widespread smartphone adoption, is prime territory for fintech upstarts as well as pioneering incumbent banks. The race is on, and many players have jumped in, with ASEAN governments promoting the contest, which is pushing the limits of financial services to new boundaries. The ultimate winners, of course, will be the commercial and retail customers.
Thailand’s sluggish economic growth has raised alarm bells recently, but its banking sector continues to push forward. Krungsri, one of the country’s top five banks, is guided by its mission to responsibly meet the needs of its customers and serve society through sustainable growth. In our interview, Mr. Pornsanong Tuchinda, head of commercial banking, discusses how by combining customer centricity with digital technology, the bank is achieving its goals.
Thailand, an emerging market economy, is recognized as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, with enviable growth over the years—however, its growth has slowed in 2019. Its export-led economy is feeling the pinch from the global economic slowdown, currency appreciation and trade squabbles between the world’s heavyweights. The new government of Thailand is committed to utilizing this captivating nation’s many attributes, keeping it at the forefront of the region’s innovation and investment.
Interview with Mr. Arthit Sriumporn, Senior Vice President Commercial Banking of Siam Commercial Bank
Mr. Simon Hughes of International Banker interviews Mr. Arthit Sriumporn, Senior Vice President Commercial Banking, Siam Commercial Bank on the bank’s digital strategy, the philosophy of sufficiency economy and the company’s goal of being the most admired bank.
Thailand, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, boasts a varied industrial landscape, with all bases covered from manufacturing to tourism. Kiatnakin Bank Thailand is on a mission to pursue operational excellence in each core business in commercial banking and capital markets. Our interview with Mr. Aphinant Klewpatinond, CEO, provides an in-depth look at a multi-faceted bank thriving in the heart of this seminal unitary state.
Thailand, the second largest ASEAN economy, is increasingly at the forefront of the digital-finance push in the region as part of the Government’s Digitization 4.0 strategy. With its citizens readily embracing technology and especially mobile solutions, Thailand’s financial-services providers have been heavily challenged to put aside traditional approaches and transform radically to compete with the tech giants, the new titans of e-commerce. One Thai bank, Siam Commercial Bank, has made great strides advancing in the digital age.
Can a bank be a friend to its customers in their times of need? Thailand’s Krungthai Bank thinks so, and that is why it has stood behind all of its customers since its beginnings 50 years ago through thick and thin, including devastating natural disasters. State-owned KTB proves that banking customer service can indeed go that extra mile and still be profitable.