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Opening a Bank Account in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

This video will briefly provide some insight about banking and opening bank accounts here in Thailand, a major issue for most people especially expats or prospective expats even long-term tourists and retirees. Major issue for all those folks who are moving to Thailand is going to be bank accounts even in a personal capacity you see this rather frequently. And also we're going to briefly discuss corporate bank accounts for companies set up here in Thailand.

But to start with, I'm just going to briefly sort of give an overview of some issues surrounding banking in Thailand especially for expatriates or for foreigners here in Thailand for various reasons. One of the major issues that comes up, at least in my experience with respect to bank accounts and opening bank accounts here in Thailand, revolves around the issue of work authorization and work permit. Those who have a work permit in Thailand will find it fairly easy to open a personal bank account in the country while those who may not have a work permit will find that it's going to be more difficult or relatively more difficult.

It should be noted with respect to work authorization and bank accounts, the retirement visa sort of stands out as something of a horse of a different color, if you will, with respect to this issue. Those who come into Thailand in retiree status, and for more information about retirement visas I strongly urge the viewer to go ahead and click on the video regarding retirement visas or the video regarding the new 10 year retirement visa which is also on this channel. But those who are coming into Thailand in retiree status on a retirement visa, they're not work authorized. Retirement visas are exactly that, it's for retirement. It's for simply being here in Thailand, physically present but not for the purpose of working or doing any kind of business.

So those that have a retirement visa will find that opening a personal bank account for themselves it's not going to be, it shouldn't be a major issue. They fall under the immigration status. They are what they are. The retirees and opening a bank account isn't much of an issue. It's been my experience that those people who are those foreign nationals who are physically present in Thailand who do not have work authorization or a work permit, for more information on that I strongly recommend clicking on this channel and clicking on the video specifically about work permits entirely. But those who do not have work authorization there or some other kind of visa other than retirement visa, so things like business visa, A visa, O visa based on marriage to Thai national or parental relationship over a Thai national child, those who are in the that kind of status, tourist visa for example 30-day exemption stamp may find it fairly difficult to go ahead and open a bank account here in Thailand based upon bank policies regarding the need for work authorization most banks.

In my experience in Thailand will oftentimes only open a bank account to a foreign national who has either gone into retirement visa status. So it's very clear what their status is or who have a bank account. One exception to this and something that may need to be sorted out on a case-by-case basis involves education visas. Those who are physically present in Thailand on an education visa may or may not be able to get a bank account. It's probably going to depend on the bank because technically speaking, education visas have a very limited type of work authorization if any at all. In most cases, it has been my experience that visas are treated as if they do not have work authorization and for that reason, it may improve someone easier to get a bank account in an educational piece of status.

Again, that's going to come down to each individual case. In some cases, it may be possible to get a bank account set up again. It's bank specific and sometimes you know, one bank someone get lucky and be able to do it without a work permit. It's basically been my experience that in most cases, the bank employees, the bank staff were going to want to see a work permit before they're going to open up a bank account.

Now moving over to corporate bank accounts, so we're talking about company bank accounts here in Thailand. This is a significant issue because if you're coming into it, foreign nationals coming into Thailand to set up a business let's say for example, somebody wants to come to Thailand set up business under what's called the Treaty of Amity, and I strongly recommend anybody who wants more information about the Treaty of Amity and corporate law sort related thereto go ahead and check out the Treaty of Amity video on the same channel. But with respect to Treaty of Amity and or with respect to setting up a company, okay you're an American citizen you come to Thailand you set up your company under the treaty and now you need to get a corporate bank account, it's been my experience that the banks will definitely only allow a corporate bank account especially a corporate bank account that is primarily where the corporation is primarily owned and directed by a foreign national. They're going to require that that foreign national have a work permit before they open up a bank account for that individual or for that individual company, I should say for that company.

So with respect to corporations and banking for foreigners here in Thailand, it's going to definitely be requirement that one has a work permit before a bank is going to let an individual who's presumably the director of their company open up a corporate bank account. And that company's name, this can cause a great deal of consternation to those who are dealing with so these issues for the first time. But firms like ours we can basically help streamline that process so once everything all the formalities are taken care with respect to corporate formation and work permit status etc, the formalities for going ahead and getting a corporate bank account tend to be sort of streamlined. It should also be noted that in Thailand especially with respect to corporate banking, there's some sort of what may seem to be antiquated rules regarding banking in Thailand. Things like current accounts, AT versus savings accounts online banking which may or may not and checking may or may not be linked to the account that's in the corporate account.

Again, a firm like ours can help by basically sending someone in to have everything set up in such a way that basically the banking processes will be set up to look much akin to the banking system say, in the United States or the Commonwealth or Western Europe. Again for sort of foreign nationals who are used to banking in a lot of ways, the Thai banking system is different which is where sort of a firm like ours comes in and we can sort of facilitate and create a banking or help to sort of structure a banking environment for the client that's going to be conducive to doing business smoothly.

So again with respect to personal banking, those who are present like say on business visa and O visa, it may be a requirement that in order to even get a personal bank account, a work permit is going to be necessary under certain things like retirement visa. Yes, it's been my experience that obtaining a bank account for retirement visa or obtaining a bank account after retirement visa is issued, it's not really a major issue. That being said, feel free to contact us regarding specific matters pertaining to banking. We may be able to assist especially those who are in tourist visa status or 30 days exemption status. It has been my experience of obtaining a bank account of Thailand for those who are kind of immigration status, obtaining a bank account under those circumstances can be relatively difficult. Again, please feel free to contact us as each given case is sort of unique so there may be a solution out there that an individual may or may not have thought.