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16 Nov 2022

Financial Institutions

Thailand’s financial access rate is higher than most other APEC member economies, but there are challenges ahead (Current Issue No.3360)


        The APEC 2022 Thailand reflects efforts in driving the economies and societies of the member economies towards sustainability, based on inclusive growth. One of the ways to achieve that goal is to promote financial inclusion.
        Thailand’s financial access rate overall is higher than most other APEC member economies. According to the World Bank, 95.6 percent, 67.1 percent and 92.0 percent of Thais (for those who are older than 15 years) held bank accounts with financial service providers in the system, had savings with financial institutions and made digital payments in 2021, respectively, which are higher than the 82.1 percent, 61.4 percent and 78.1 percent, respectively, seen in other APEC member states and countries elsewhere.  
        However, the proportion of Thais, who have access to loans, including a credit or debit card, remains lower than other APEC member economies overall. Although Thailand has higher household debts than many other APEC member economies, it is important and necessary that the unserved and underserved in the country have greater access to financial services. According to the World Bank, the credit utilization ratio within the Thai banking system is at 30.4 percent, which is lower than the 38.2 percent of other APEC member economies. According to the Bank of Thailand’s 2020 survey on financial access among Thai households, that figure reflects relatively inferior financial status and inadequate financial literacy of Thai households, which have in turn discouraged them from seeking funding from financial institutions. Additionally, many Thais opt not to use credit products because they are not necessary. In terms of financial access, this issue can be addressed in the future, for instance by boosting competition between bank and non-bank financial institutions, particularly through online channels, reducing transaction costs for credit service providers, as well as providing players greater access to the country’s infrastructure and financial literacy while also creating new jobs through trade linkages with APEC.

Financial Institutions