Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar to bring full-fledged digital banking to Myanmar’s financial market
Siam Commercial Bank is opening “Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar” to fully expand to Myanmar’s financial market, the only Thai bank allowed to operate a wholly owned subsidiary bank in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. SCB Myanmar will leverage its digital banking expertise and strength to elevate financial products, services, and payment systems in Myanmar to fulfill the business requirements of the ASEAN group. The move will open up new capabilities and allow SCB Myanmar to meet the needs of every customer group in Myanmar to the fullest extent possible, whether large corporations, SMEs, or retail customers. SCB Myanmar will also capitalize on SCB’s branch network by bridging regional trade and investment relations among the CLMV+2 countries.
Siam Commercial Bank President Sarut Ruttanaporn noted that “SCB has been granted a banking license to operate Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar by the Central Bank of Myanmar, which will be officially inaugurated on 15 January 2021. This development is an important jigsaw piece in SCB accomplishing its strategic expansion of its overseas network in the CLMV+2 countries over the past several years. With its increasing importance as a regionally strategic country, Myanmar has become one of the top destinations attracting investors from around the world. The country’s strategic location links Asia’s two regional powers, China and India. While the Myanmar government continues to support foreign direct investment despite the COVID-19 crisis situations faced by countries worldwide, including Myanmar and Thailand, SCB is confident that this impediment will not change the overall investment trend in Myanmar. The economy should be able to recover to full capacity when the pandemic subsides. Bearing that prospect in mind, SCB is moving forward with its plan for opening Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar, which will be instrumental in the recovery of trade, investment, and public finance in Myanmar, helping bridge regional investment even further. According to a World Bank forecast, Myanmar’s GDP will resume its former 6 percent level in 2021, up from the 1.5 percent level predicted for 2020 due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mr. Sarut continued, “As a wholly owned subsidiary of SCB, Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar is currently the only Thai bank granted a subsidiary license in Myanmar. The Bank will offer a full spectrum of commercial banking services in the same manner as local banks. SCB Myanmar is committed to serving people and promoting businesses in Myanmar by expanding access to financial services. At present, statistics reveal that up to 74 percent of the population does not have access to financial services, with the percentage of domestic credit to GDP standing at a mere 20 percent. SCB will be focusing on supporting economic growth in Myanmar by offering comprehensive financial products and services covering all target groups, whether large corporations, SMEs, or retail customers. The Bank is determined to bring every aspect of its financial experience and capabilities, particularly technology advancement, to connect businesses in Myanmar in a bid to build new capabilities and lead every customer group to success.”
“In addition, the Bank will support the development of financial infrastructure and payment systems even further by offering solutions critical for Myanmar’s businesses and digital finance, in line with the increasing popularity of Myanmar’s digital banking trend. The Bank is now studying the market so as to create satisfactory financial experiences for the people of Myanmar. Our tasks will start from the development of digital payment systems, both a corporate portal for businesses and mobile banking for retail customers. Services expected to be available in 2022, which will help support business payments and reduce cash usage and management costs in the country.”
“Myanmar has strong growth potential. Despite an imbalance of commercial loans at 87 percent or USD 18 billion compared to a mere 10% for retail loans, the Central Bank of Myanmar expects that retail lending growth will be exponential. In addition, digital lending will play an important role, with smartphone usage increasing from 80 percent to 90 percent of the total population between 2018 to 2020. Internet access also increased significantly, by over one million users between 2019 to 2020, and will be a target essential to the development of digital finance,” Mr. Sarut added in closing his remarks.
Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar is located at Sule Square Office Tower, a major financial district in the heart of Yangon city, headed by Mr. Rajesh Ahuja as General Manager. Having entered the Myanmar market in 2012 as a representative office, SCB fully understands Myanmar’s market, cultural, and regulatory requirements. We are eager to offer consultation for all businesses seeking to expand in Myanmar and ready to connect regional investment for investors from all CLMV+2 countries, comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, China, and Singapore.