Bank of Thailand plans new rules for banks’ investments in digital assets

Bank of Thailand plans new rules for banks’ investments in digital assets

The logo of cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub, which is 51% owned by Siam Commercial Bank, is seen in a cup of coffee at a crypto cafe in Nakhon Ratchasima, Jan 21, 2022. (Reuters file photo)
The logo of cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub, which is 51% owned by Siam Commercial Bank, is seen in a cup of coffee at a crypto cafe in Nakhon Ratchasima, Jan 21, 2022. (Reuters file photo)

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) 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, Ms Roong said.

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

"Digital assets are still risky," Ms Roong added.

However, the BoT 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. 

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