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[BANGKOK] Thai commercial banks this year have requested permission to close more branches than they have asked to open, the first time this has happened, the central bank governor said on Thursday.
Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told reporters the trend "reflects a shift" toward financial technology, including the introduction of e-banking options.
He did not give details on how many branches Thai banks have asked to open or close this year.
Mr Veerathai said the central bank is planning to relax existing regulations for service providers to bring more financial technology to Thailand's banking sector.
At the end of June, Thailand had 7,063 commercial bank branches, according to the central bank. The number of branches in Bangkok was 2,164, compared with 2,182 one year earlier.