Pattaya, – Friday 5th February 2010 [PDN]: – We held an exclusive interview with the Vice President, Mr. Zati Sankhavanija, who has been involved in of banking for the last seven years here in Thailand, concentrating heavily on the retail side and automatic banking systems.. There are seven branches around Bangkok and one in South Pattaya which has been open for the last five years, with a total of 28 branches throughout Thailand.
There has been very little promotion for the Islamic Bank until last year when they started to widely promote their services and it is unexpected to learn that only 20% of their clients are actually Muslim. The Islamic Bank welcomes all foreign customers, and this relatively new Islamic Bank of Thailand is offering a unique method of credit, especially when it comes to housing loans.
They offer an unusual alternative of alternative of purchasing the intended property and selling to the customer for cost price plus a small service fee over an agreed payment time period. If there is a period of non-payment, the penalty charges are minimal, and not at the crippling “compound interest rate’ penalties charged by western banks, which is a great help to people who are experiencing a temporary financial crisis.
Likewise, personal or business loans are also available using an existing property as security, thus allowing clients to be able to get finance. Personal loans are also available to clear multiple credit card debts by lumping them all together and making monthly payments to settle the balance over a 72-month time period. The customer maintains their credit rating and later they are able to top-up the loan amount for some further purchases.
This year, the first Islamic credit card in Thailand will be promoted, focusing on spending on essential items, because there will be some restrictions on what can be purchased. For example purchases do not include alcohol, gambling and entertainment expenses, so this alternative method of credit is very competitively priced and more flexible. It is interesting to find that the Vice President, Mr. Zati Sankhavanija, is the brother of Pattaya’s famous guitar playing star, “Lam Morrison.”