The Region

The Bank of Thailand

Focus on Central Banks

Published September 1, 1998  | September 1998 issue

Headquarters: Bangkok

National currency: baht

The Thai National Banking Bureau, the precursor to the central bank, was established in 1939 as part of the Ministry of Finance and was the first organization to assume central banking activities in Thailand. When World War II spread to Asia, the government changed the status of the Bureau to a central bank through the passage of the Bank of Thailand Act in 1942, which decreed the Bank of Thailand the legal entity responsible for all central banking activities. The Minister of Finance is empowered to oversee the overall affairs of the Bank, with general control and direction entrusted to a court of directors, comprised of the governor and deputy governors, appointed by His Majesty the King as chairman and vice chairmen respectively, and at least five assistant governors appointed by the Cabinet.

The Bank of Thailand is responsible for:

  • monetary policy formulation;
  • providing banking facilities to the government, state enterprises and financial institutions;
  • supervising financial institutions;
  • promoting priority economic sectors;
  • printing and issuing bank notes;
  • managing the government's assets and liabilities;
  • providing and disseminating economic and financial information both in Thailand and abroad;
  • representing Thailand in international organizations and cooperating with other central banks; and
  • developing and supervising the financial system.

The Bank of Thailand Museum, located in the Bangkhunprom Palace in Bangkok, contains ancient currencies and coins that trace the cultural heritage of Thai kingdoms, as well as an exhibit on the bank's history.

See more on the Central Bank of Thailand.