Thailand’s top banks for foreigners 2023

PHOTO: By Eduardo Soares via Unsplash

If you’re an expat living in Thailand, you might need a local bank account to sort out your finances. Whether you’re spending your retirement time, running a business, renting out a villa, or working in Thailand, having a local bank account can make your life so much easier and even help you save money. But choosing the right bank can be a chore, especially since not all of them are foreigner-friendly. Below, we’ve put together a list of the best banks in Thailand for foreigners to help narrow down your options.

Kasikorn Bank

Kasikorn Bank Thailand
PHOTO: Kasikorn Bank via

Kasikorn Bank, also known as K Bank, is often the main choice for foreigners living in Thailand. Originally established in 1945 as Thai Farmers Bank, its mission was to support farmers in post-World War II Thailand. And as the country’s economy expanded, the bank grew too. Today, it’s one of the biggest and most popular banks in the country.

Kasikorn Bank was ahead of its time in banking innovations, being one of the first in Thailand to offer credit cards in 1973 and leading the world in secure mobile phone payments.

One of Kasikorn’s key features that makes it popular among foreigners is its no-minimum deposit policy for opening accounts. Plus, it offers a Foreign Currency Deposit Account specifically designed for foreign residents. The approval process is highly efficient, with an immediate issuing of passbooks and ATM cards upon document verification. One thing to note is that it can get busy due to its popularity, and cashing foreign currency cheques might involve some additional steps.

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Kasikorn Bank has hundreds of branches across Thailand, but the most foreigner-friendly branches are in Sukhumvit 33, Central Embassy, and Icon Siam.

Bangkok Bank

Bangkok Bank Thailand
PHOTO: Bangkok Bank via Wikimedia Commons

Bangkok Bank is the biggest bank in Thailand with 18 million accounts. The bank also holds an impressively broad international reach as it has branches in major cities across the world, including London and New York. This makes it the bank with the most global presence among all the banks in Thailand.

Known for being the most welcoming to expats, the bank offers Foreign Currency Deposit Accounts for foreigners and non-residents. It also has good exchange rates for sending money to other countries. Additionally, to facilitate fast and efficient money transfers, account holders have the option to link a Western branch to their PayPal accounts. Bangkok Bank’s online banking is also better than most Thai banks.

If you decide to start banking with Bangkok Bank, the main office on Silom Road is a good place to start.

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB)

Thailand's top banks for foreigners 2023 | News by Thaiger

Coming in third is SCB, also known as Siam Commercial Bank. Established on 30 January 1907, SCB is the very first bank in Thailand and has stood the test of time.

The bank’s user-friendly mobile app and website contribute to its popularity among foreigners. Not only that, SCB also upholds a strong reputation within Thailand’s investment banking industry. It even boasts dedicated SCB investment centres peppered around Bangkok.

SCB can be an especially great choice if you’re looking to open a stock brokerage account in Thailand. While it might feel a bit behind the times compared to services in other countries, rest assured, it delivers reliable and cost-effective transactions.

Be aware though, withdrawing money from an SCB ATM does involve a 5 percent markup on the exchange rate. For a cheaper standard withdrawal fee, you could consider using Aeon Bank ATMs, which charge a flat 150 THB per withdrawal.

United Overseas Bank (UOB)

Thailand's top banks for foreigners 2023 | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: UOB via Wikimedia Commons

United Overseas Bank, or UOB, sits at number four on our list. In 2022, it bought Citibank’s consumer banking business in Thailand, which includes services like regular banking, credit cards, and wealth management. Because this happened quite recently, you’ll still see some services using the “Citi” name.

UOB is particularly popular for its credit cards, such as UOB’s Premier and Preferred credit cards, which are good for anyone who likes dining out and shopping in Thailand’s malls. If you’re an expat, you’ll need to earn at least 50,000 THB to get one of these cards, unless you can get a recommendation from your employer.


Thailand's top banks for foreigners 2023 | News by Thaiger

CIMB, a notable Malaysian bank group and one of ASEAN’s largest, is known to allow foreigners to open a bank account with just a tourist visa. Moreover, you can open a bank account with a convenient deposit of 1,000 THB and benefit from their efficient Internet banking services.

Moreover, their competitive interest rates on savings accounts make them a solid contender for those looking to grow their savings while in Thailand. For balances under 1 million THB, they offer a 0.50 per cent rate, and for those exceeding 1 million THB, you can expect a 0.75 per cent rate. These rates hold a significant edge over competitors such as SCB and Kasikorn, which offer 0.25 per cent and 0.30 per cent respectively under similar conditions.

The only downside of CIMB is that its basic savings account’s debit card does not support online purchases or international transfers via its app.

Want to get a credit card in Thailand? Check out our guide on how to secure credit cards in Thailand for foreigners.

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