Thai central bank to allow banks to do some digital asset businesses

FILE PHOTO:  Thailand's central bank is seen at the Bank of Thailand in Bangkok
FILE PHOTO: Thailand's central bank is seen at the Bank of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo/File Photo

March 23, 2022

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s central bank is planning new rules on investments in digital assets by subsidiaries of commercial banks, including allowing them to invest up to 3% of their capital in such businesses, an assistant governor said on Wednesday.

The improved rules are expected to be introduced in the middle of this year and will provide more flexibility in doing business while upgrading supervision in line with changing risks, Roong Mallikamas told a news conference.

Units of commercial banks will be allowed to invest no more than 3% of their capital in regulated digital asset businesses, such as digital asset exchanges, to limit new risks that could affect confidence of banks, Roong said.

The central bank has yet to allow commercial banks to directly operate digital asset businesses, she said.

“Digital assets are still risky,” Roong added.

However, the central bank will remove a current limit of 3% of capital that commercial banks can invest in fintech, to allow them to make more use of financial technology.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Kitiphong Thaichareon and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Martin Petty)