Chief Executive Officer of Siam Commercial Bank PCL.
Visionary CEO helms new journey for SCB
Arthid Nanthawithaya, chief executive officer of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), is steering the country's oldest bank into a new journey by going beyond the local traditional business frontier to become a regional financial tech conglomerate.
SCB group announced its vision, group restructuring plan and ambitous goals in September. Its move is in line with the banking sector's current adoption of digital transformation to survive the impact of the digital disruption worldwide.
According to Mr Arthid, SCB must no longer limit itself to traditional banking business, but rather take advantage of its financial strength to accelerate its aggressive expansion into other types of financial businesses that the market demands, build technological capabilities, and manage a large technology platform to keep pace with global players.
As part of its goals, the SCB group aims to become a major digital platform service provider under its planned new parent, SCB X, as well as a regional financial tech conglomerate by 2025, with a goal of 200 million local and international customers, up from around 16 million now.
At that time, SCB X's earnings are expected to increase by 1.5-2 times, and the company's market capitalisation would increase to 1 trillion baht.
Under the group restructuring plan, SCB shareholders at their extraordinary general meeting on Nov 15 gave the nod to its plan to swap SCB shares for SCB X shares and listing SCB X on the stock exchange market, replacing SCB.
The meeting also approved the transfer of SCB subsidiaries to operate under SCB X or SCB X subsidiaries.
Mr Arthid said the new structure would unlock the potential and flexibility for business growth of the SCB X business group in many aspects and increase the clarity of doing business to its fullest extent.
Under SCB X, there will be two main financial business groups: banking operated by SCB and new growth businesses. While the banking business will continue to offer traditional services, SCB wants to focus on blue ocean areas.
Digital platform businesses under the bank's subsidiaries and planned spinoffs fall under the new growth business group. The bank plans to spin off some subsidiaries and business units, with around 15 entities to be under SCB X and more entities in the pipeline searching for new growth businesses.
Since its vision announcement in September, the SCB group has continued to enter into strategic partnership deals with leading companies to expand its digital business. One is with Advanced Info Service Plc to set up a 50:50 joint venture, AISCB, with registered capital of 600 million baht to provide digital lending via an online platform.
In November, the group was in the spotlight again after announcing the strategic investment in Thailand's leading digital asset exchange Bitkub Online Company Limited — widely known as Bitkub — acquiring 51% of Bitkub’s total shares from Bitkub Capital Group Holdings, worth around 17.85 billion baht in total.
Under the deal, SCB Securities (SCBS) will become Bitkub’s major shareholder and will be responsible for engaging closely with the company in building a business and digital asset ecosystem.
Mr Arthid initiated the major change at SCB in 2016 by focusing on improving staff capcities, investing more on technology and expanding partnerships to strengthen SCB's operation.
Later the bank has also focused on cost reduction and encouraging customers to use its digital service platforms.