Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank is planning to spin off its select fintech units to become a leading player in technology investment, Bloomberg Quint reported. The bank is experiencing slow growth in earnings from traditional lending.
Siam Commercial Bank is Thailand’s third biggest lender by assets. The bank foresees potential in one of its fintech units to become a unicorn, or a private company with a valuation of $1 billion. The main reason for the spin off is to allow the unit to become more independent, including raising funds from other investors.
Siam Commercial Co-President Orapong Thien-Ngern, told Bloomberg Quint, “Thai banking like most other countries is a sunsetting industry, as existing lenders and new players are competing for limited pools of customers. Venture capital and technology investments will be the key survival strategies for SCB in attracting new customers and boosting earnings.”
In recent times, Siam Commercial Bank and other Thai lenders have been investing in technology to beat fintech startup competition. The management seeks to transform the bank into a technology company.
Thien-Ngern firmly believes that venture capital and technology investments are important strategies vital to the bank’s development.
Siam Commercial Bank has closed a four year capital spending programme worth $1.3 billion. The programme is focused on artificial intelligence, digital platforms and other technology.
The banks shows tremendous potential to become Thailand’s leading player in digital technology. Earlier this month, the bank established strategic partnership with Liquid Group to enable cross-border QR payment acceptance in Singapore and Thailand.