by ANIS HAZIM/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Banking institutions from Thailand and Malaysia are invited to indicate their interest to be a qualified Asean bank (QAB) in Malaysia and Thailand.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) in a joint statement today said that the bilateral arrangement is pursuant to the Asean Banking Integration Framework (ABIF) between BNM and BOT which was concluded in April 2019.
“The QABs are envisioned to facilitate greater intra-ASEAN trade and investment in the region, in accordance with the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 that aims to create an integrated and highly cohesive ASEAN economy,
“To ensure the financial stability of both countries, a QAB candidate, whether a new entrant or an existing bank in the host country, must be a strong and well managed bank that has its interest endorsed by the home country’s regulator; and comply with the host country’s prudential requirements,” the banks said.
A successful QAB candidate will enjoy market access and operational flexibilities accorded under the bilateral arrangement.
BNM Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Yunus said the bilateral arrangement signifies the strengthening of economic ties between Malaysia and Thailand.
“It is set to benefit the people of both countries where they will be able to enjoy better banking convenience as well as access to a wider range of banking products,” said Nor Shamsiah.
She said that both BNM and BOT have taken great strides towards creating an integrated and cohesive Asean economy.
“We are confident that the QAB arrangement will foster more business opportunities and economic activities between the two countries to facilitate both our economic recoveries amidst the ongoing pandemic,” Nor Shamsiah added.
BOT Governor, Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the QAB arrangement marks another important milestone for the long-standing partnership between Thailand and Malaysia, as well as Asean’s efforts towards deeper regional financial integration.
“The arrangement will bring about a wider range of high-quality financial products that will better serve the needs of businesses and consumers in both countries,” Sethaput said.
He hoped that the QAB arrangements would pave the way for further financial cooperation among Asean members as the region embraces new financial innovations.
Ed’s note: This article has been updated for better clarity