At SCB, securities arm taps parent bank

SCB Securities expects to become a top-three broker by 2015 by using the network of its parent company to expand its retail investors base.

SCBS, a subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), will tighten cooperation with the parent in a bid to approach its 12 million deposit accounts at 1,126 branches about offering its investment services in the stock market.

M.L. Thongmakut Thongyai, SCBS's chief executive, said the brokerage is targeting 5,000 new retail investor accounts next year on top of the present 30,000.

This will be in line with SCBS's continued momentum in market share growth, from 1.5% in 2011 to an estimated 2.7% this year and 3.3% next year, he said.

The brokerage expects retail trading value to increase to 70% in the next three years from 60% now.

"SCB has up to 12 million individual accounts. This is our strength. Persuading only 5% of those accounts to invest will give a major fillip to our stock trading and investor base," said M.L. Thongmakut.

He said investors opening a stock trading account can use SCB's services, and trades can be approved in half a day for cash-balance accounts and one day for cash accounts.

"The process for opening a trading account will be shortened to only one day from 3-5 days now," said M.L. Thongmakut.

He said stock trading accounts can be opened at 70 SCB branches this year, while all branches will be ready to serve demand by the first half of next year.

Charamporn Jotikasthira, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said there are about 700,000 retail investors accounts now, but that number could double if bank depositors can be persuaded to invest in stocks.

M.L. Thongmakut said competition in the securities business has become fierce since liberalisation took effect at the start of this year.

He said price wars and headhunting among brokers are now common, especially institutional groups.

However, commission fees remain reasonable for the retail segment, and it has plenty of room to grow, he added.

About the author

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Writer: Nuntawun Polkuamdee
Position: Business Reporter