Krungsri Bank is planning to launch a subsidiary for fintech investment to join the fintech craze, reports The Nation. It seems no bank in Thailand wants to be left behind as Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikorn Bank have already launched venture-capital companies to invest in start-ups and fintech.

According to Thakorn Piyapan, Head of Krungsri’s Consumer Group,

The initial registered capital of the new subsidiary is set at $286,000 (10 million THB).

The bank will divide its venture capital investment into three phases:

  1. The first stage is investment via domestic and foreign funds in order to become familiar with new fintech trends.
  2. The second stage will entail direct investment in fintech operators and start-ups that already have products the bank is interested in.
  3. The third stage will be an extension of the second stage

Investment decisions will comply with Krungsri Group’s own agenda, while the parent bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, will provide advice.

Krungsri will work to transfer its digital banking and innovation business to the new company in order to focus on developing fintech itself under the Krungsri RISE Fintech accelerator program, which aims to fund new startups. The bank will add 10 more staff to oversee venture capital.

According to Thakorn, maximizing the use of data will help Krungsri bank reduce operating costs in the future. On top of this, the bank is also looking to expand its network of branches, and will reach 703 by the end of this year, adding on from its current count of 670 nationwide.

A version of this appeared in The Nation on July 18. Read the full version here.