BoT extending rules to SFIs and others

BoT extending rules to SFIs and others

GH Bank's headquarters on Rama IX Road. The central bank is extending regulations on market conduct. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
GH Bank's headquarters on Rama IX Road. The central bank is extending regulations on market conduct. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Bank of Thailand is set to extend market conduct enforcement to cover specialised financial institutions (SFIs), nanofinance operators, and asset management companies (AMCs) next quarter to improve financial service offerings.

Initially, SFIs' retail banking business must comply with the market conduct regulations, said Thanyanit Niyomkarn, assistant governor for supervision group 2 at the central bank.

SFIs include the Government Savings Bank, GH Bank, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, Islamic Bank of Thailand and Export Import Bank of Thailand.

She said the central bank has talked with SFIs, nanofinance operators, and AMCs about the regulations for around one year to give them time to prepare for the new rules. These financial institutions, particularly branches, have already adapted business operations in compliance with market conduct regulations.

Commercial banks and their subsidiaries have applied the central bank's market conduct regulations since the beginning of 2017. The regulations cover end-to-end financial institution processes that are related to customer services while also fining any practice violations to ensure appropriate and fair services, as well as fee charges and consumer protections.

In principle, both commercial banks and SFIs are required to apply the same market conduct regulations, but some penalties are different, said Mrs Thanyanit.

The names of the top three executives of both commercial banks and SFIs are publicised in case any of them fail to comply with the regulations.

"Market conduct regulations do not cover payment platforms because financial institutions have different models. These financial services are also under the central bank's supervision," she said.

After three years of market conduct regulations being enforced, the banking industry has improved fairness, information disclosure, and services, said Mrs Thanyanit.

The central bank is pooling phone numbers of commercial banks, their subsidiaries and outsource units used for telemarketing and debt collection with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to develop the Gun Guan app, enabling consumers to screen unwanted calls by identifying telemarketers and debt collectors' phone numbers.

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