The rapidly growing middle class in Southeast Asia is bringing with it increased household wealth, increased consumption, and increased investment. As a result, the commercial banking sector has seen a boom in the more economically developed countries of the region—especially in Thailand. A select few foreign banks have also been very successful in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam for many years, but as other banks seek to replicate their Thai success in these new markets, the field looks likely to become much more crowded in coming years. Six major Thai banks are active in at least one other jurisdiction in mainland Southeast Asia, with some already operating across them all, and many larger international banks also beginning to take note.
Amid that background, this guide examines the legal frameworks for foreign banks seeking to operate in these jurisdictions, and addresses some current and upcoming developments that investors should note.
The full guide is available as a PDF through the button below.