Introduction ...

The Idea of setting up the Islamic Bank in Thailand emerged from Muslim population’s need for financial services that comply with Shariah principles, especially those residing in the country’s three southern boarder provinces.  In 1998 the government impelled the development of Islamic banking system in many forms to facilitate Thai Muslims in conducting their banking transactions in conformity with Shariah principles. As the government intended to set up an Islamic Bank under the government’s jurisdiction with its own sets of law, the Ministry of Finance was then assigned to draft ‘The Islamic Bank of Thailand Act’, which was later approved by the parliament in October 2002.

 

The Progress...

Islamic Bank of Thailand is set up under the Islamic Bank of Thailand Act 2002 and regulated by the Ministry of Finance. The Bank commenced operations in June 2003 with paid-up capital of 1 billion baht and had its head quarter, which was also the first branch, in Klongton. The Bank continued to open branches especially in Bangkok and Southern provinces and had a total of 9 branches by the end of 2005.

The expansion of the Bank’s business continued through the acquisition of Shariah Banking Services of Krung Thai Bank PCL in November 2005 under the government’s policy. This increased the number of branches from 18 to 27. In August 2005, the Bank relocated its head quarter from Klongton to prime business area, Asoke, to facilitate growing business and increase operating efficiency.

At Present, IBank..Your Bank...

Ibank focused solely on Muslim market segmentation during the initial stage of operation. However, the Bank sees the opportunity of expanding Shariah banking services to general public, and thus, creates and develops more innovative and competitive products, while embarking rebranding exercises to provide best services to customers, along with promoting ethical culture, social responsibility, Islamic principles and good governance through the operational framework.  These allow Ibank to differentiate from competitors and become an alternative bank for everyone regardless of his religion.  In October 2007, the Finance Ministry became ibank’s major shareholder and this has made the Bank state-owned enterprise thereafter.  Currently, Ibank has 108 branches throughout the country.