Thailand’s Virtual Banking Licences: New Guidelines Released

Thailand’s Virtual Banking Licences: New Guidelines Released

On 4 March 2024, the Notification of the Ministry of Finance Re: Criteria, Methods, and Conditions of the Application for a Licence and Issuance of a Licence to Operate a Virtual Bank ("Notification"), dated 20 February 2024, was published in the Government Gazette. The Notification provides guidance on the process for applying for a virtual bank licence, as well as the relevant criteria, requirements and conditions.

The Notification will become effective on 19 March 2024. A "virtual bank" regulated under this Notification is one which operates entirely online. Such virtual banks are potentially able to offer efficient financial services through digital channels, which would be principally operated by an operator who has the necessary expertise in technology, digital services, and data analytics. Conducting banking services online could save operational costs and also promote accessibility to financial services for underserved or unserved customers.

This Update provides a high-level summary of the virtual bank application process and key requirements.

A Guide to Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations ("ASEAN") recognises the crucial role of energy in driving the region's growth. This has led to two key priorities: energy security and clean energy development. ASEAN aims for a 23% renewable energy ("RE") share by 2025 in the ASEAN Energy Mix (or TPES: Total Primary Energy Supply), with discussions underway for an even more ambitious target soon. Southeast Asia has abundant RE resources, but several hurdles remain, for instance infrastructure, the need for policy harmonisation, and community engagement. Each ASEAN country faces its own particular set of challenges and constraints in achieving its net zero emissions goal due to a myriad of factors including its stage of economic development, resources (financial and non-financial) and geographical constraints. As such, the policies and focus of each country in the deployment and development of RE may differ. In this Guide, we provide an overview of the RE landscape in the region and certain salient legal and regulatory issues affecting the development and deployment of RE in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.