BOT plans to allow the nation’s first virtual banks to provide services by 2025.
Thailand issued the ‘Consultation Paper on Virtual Bank Licensing Framework.’
BOT had already laid down the licensing framework for upcoming virtual banks.
Aiming for development, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) plans to allow the nation’s first virtual banks to provide services by 2025 to boost competition and enhance the country’s overall economy. Yesterday, BOT announced that the ‘Consultation Paper on Virtual Bank Licensing Framework’ has been issued, allowing virtual banks to act as new financial service providers.
Bloomberg’s report revealed that the BOT plans to issue three different licenses for interested virtual banks by 2024, which is one year before their operations. Assistant Governor of BOT, Tharith Panipiemras mentions that there are about 10 parties who expressed an interest in applying for these permits. However, the application will only be available later this year.
Although BOT believes that virtual banks would operate in a sustainable manner, the central bank expects these futuristic financial institutions to follow some criteria, stating:
Virtual banks should not initiate a race to the bottom through irresponsible lending, give preferential treatment to related parties, nor abuse dominant market position which will pose risks to financial stability, depositors, and consumers as a whole.
Furthermore, BOT had also laid down licensing frameworks for the upcoming virtual banks. The first framework states, “virtual banks may provide full-service banking businesses to be flexible and accommodate changing customer needs.”
BOT warns that virtual bank applicants must meet all the appropriate qualifications. Thailand’s central bank also mentions that once approved, virtual banks shall comply with the same regulations and supervision as traditional commercial banks.
In the end, BOT explains that the virtual banks will go through a restricted phase during its initial years of operations. Thailand’s central bank pinpointed that the virtual bank’s initial stage shall be subject to specified conditions as well as to close monitoring to ensure sustainable business operations without posing systemic risks. Thailand’s move is one of the predictions made by the crypto community about the regulators opening the market for the blockchain industry.
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