Opening a Thai Bank Account

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Opening a Thai Bank AccountOpening a bank account in a Thai bank or a foreign bank based in Thailand can be relatively simple. There are documents that must be presented in order to set up an account, depending on the type of account you wish to open, and requirements may vary from bank to bank and even between different branches of the same bank.

Technically, foreigners are required a work permit to open a bank account. However, in practice, many branches will open an account for a foreigner without a work permit. If one branch turns you down, you’ll probably find that the next branch will accept you. They may ask you for your work permit, but if you say you don’t have one, they will likely say never mind and still proceed. Proof of residency is sometimes also asked for but this can be a letter from your guesthouse stating that you “live” there.


Major Thailand Retail Banks

Most banks have good websites in English and it’s advisable to study the details before deciding on which bank to use.

  • Bangkok Bank
  • Bank of Ayudhya
  • Export-Import Bank of Thailand
  • Kasikorn bank
  • Krung Thai Bank Public
  • Siam Commercial Bank
  • Citibank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank
  • Merrill Lynch International Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank


Types of Bank Account

There are four types of  Thai bank accounts available to foreigners in Thailand:

  • Thai Baht Savings Account
  • Current Account
  • Foreign Currency Deposit Account
  • Business Bank Account


Thai Baht savings account

The most common type of bank account is the savings account. A non-resident may be able to open an account without a work permit but they will need to provide their passport and perhaps a letter of recommendation from their Embassy in Thailand.

Documents required to open an account include the following (may vary from bank to bank):

  • Passport with a valid visa
  • Work permit (Some banks will open an account for those without a work permit)
  • Proof of address

The minimum amount of money required to open a Thai Baht Account can be as little as THB 500 but sometimes a larger amount will assist in the approval process.

The account holder will receive a bank debit card allowing them to deposit and withdraw funds from their account at ATMs/cash dispensers. An account holder may also request a bank credit card. Typically, a credit card is only issued to those with a valid work permit, proper visa documentation and history and proof of income.


Current account

This account can be more complicated to open as a cheque book is issued. A passport is needed and it will not be possible to open the account without a work permit. A larger minimum opening deposit is required.


Foreign currency deposit account

This bank account is usually offered in a range of currencies with a minimum deposit required.

A passport must be presented when opening a foreign account. Other documentation may also be requested, such as an official letter of recommendation from the person’s Embassy, employer or overseas bank, pay slips, loan documents or a bank statement from the person’s home country.


Business bank account

To open a business bank account in Thailand it is necessary to have all the company papers, a passport with valid visa and a work permit. Although it should be a straightforward process it is recommended that an accountant prepares all the paperwork before visiting the bank. A business bank account will normally issue a cheque book and ATM card. Some offer Internet banking.


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Updated: April 26, 2011 by admin

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