The following details have been provided by the helpful staff at the Ao Nang branch of the SCB (Siam Commercial Bank).
Basically, there are two categories of people who can open account in Thailand.
- Foreigners living in Thailand with longterm visas
- Foreigners living in Thailand without longterm visas
For those who have some kind of longterm visa, such as a retirement visa, non-immigrant visa, or possibly a residency certificate, you need to provide the following documents in order to legally open a bank account:
- Visa stating the holder is allowed to live inside the kingdom for at least 1 year
- Work permit (if holder has a non-immigrant type B visa)
- Residency certificate (if holder has one, but it is not necessary)
For those who are staying in Thailand without a long term visa, such as a tourist visa, you will need to provide the following documents:
- One of the following documents:
- Certified document from your consulate proving you are actually an alien of your country from which your passport was issued
- Marriage certificate with a Thai national (must provide the ID card for the Thai)
- House registration book (land doesn’t need to be owned to have a house registration book, the land can be on long term lease situation)
- Income statement providing a monthly income of no less than 100,000THB per month from a foreign source, such as pension account, overseas company
Opening a bank account is an important thing not only for the convenience of having easy access to your money but it can also save you a lot of money in transaction fees and such.
Typically, most banks will issue a charge on your account of up to $5.00 for withdrawing from a foreign ATM, this is what you will be charged on top of the standard Thai fee of 180THB ($6.00) so in total to withdraw money at a local ATM from your account based in Europe (or other foreign countries) you could be charged up to $11.00 which is about 350THB.