Malaysia, Thailand ink banking integration deal

The Malaysian central bank has signed a heads of agreement with its counterparts in Thailand and the Philippines to increase integration between the countries’ banking systems.

The deals were signed under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Banking Integration Framework.

Bank Negara Malaysia, the Malaysian central bank, said the deal signified “a major step forward in the advancement of an integrated banking market within ASEAN and towards strengthening intra-regional trade and investment”.

It said the agreements outline areas on market access and operational flexibilities for Qualified ASEAN Banks in the three jurisdictions.

The agreements were signed by Bank Negara Malaysia governor Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr.

The ASEAN Banking Integration Framework was signed in December 2014 by the ASEAN countries’ central bankers. It gives banks that meet specific criteria – known as Qualified ASEAN Banks –  greater access to other ASEAN markets and more flexibility in operating there.

The ASEAN countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,  Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

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