RBS restructures Thailand operations

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is moving forward in playing a greater business role in Thailand by adding infrastructural investment to its core business of transaction services and targeting sustainable growth in accordance with the country's strong economic momentum.

Schmoelz: Greater focus on Asia-Pacific

Manfred Schmoelz, the interim country executive for RBS Thailand, said the bank will focus mainly on profitable business areas after the global business restructuring of the group and play a more prominent role in higher-growth-potential markets.

The UK-based RBS Group formed market and international banking and wholesale banking divisions earlier this year by combining global banking and market operations with the international arm of global transaction services.

The bank will also pay more interest to Asia-Pacific, especially Thailand.

Mr Schmoelz, also the head of RBS's transactions service and network client in Asia-Pacific, said RBS has run a financial business in Thailand for nearly 20 years and plans to focus on transaction services, particularly trade finance, cash management and risk management.

It expects to increase the business segment by 22-25% this year, equal to the growth rate of Asia-Pacific.

The bank will maintain this growth rate for over the next three years, depending on the overall market environment, said Mr Schmoelz.

The current global market situation is causing uncertainty while offering greater business opportunities, and demand for transaction services by corporate customers over the world is rising.

The healthy growth of Asian economies including Thailand's has also attracted the interest of international investors.

"For transaction services in Thailand, we have invested in infrastructure and human resource in preparation for greater business opportunity. The bank has around 60 staff in the country," said Mr Schmoelz, adding that transactions services in Asia-Pacific contribute 17% of group revenue.

RBS has no need to open more Thai branches, due to its concentration on wholesale banking. Thailand is among 11 networks in Asia-Pacific.

RBS intends to expand its local customer base, which is smaller than its international client portfolio.

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Writer: SOMRUEDI BANCHONGDUANG