September 16, 2016 / 12:56 PM / 3 years ago

Thai lender SCB doubles technology investment

BANGKOK, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Siam Commercial Bank’s (SCB) investment in technology this year will be more than double last year’s as a percentage of profit as Thailand’s third-largest lender by assets steps up its transformation programme.

The bank raised its technology investment budget to 15 percent of profit, equating to about 6.5 billion baht ($186 million), against 6-7 percent last year, Chief Executive Arthid Nanthawithaya told reporters on Friday.

The money is mostly being spent on big data, staff and mobile banking, he said, adding that he wants the SCB to be “the most admired” bank in Thailand.

SCB’s transformation plan aims to strengthen the bank’s competitiveness and boost long-term growth in wealth management, branch networks, retail product development and technology.

The programme, which the bank expects to complete in two to three years, is in addition to its investment in Ripple, a U.S. start-up that uses the blockchain technology that underpins digital currency bitcoin.

SCB said it participated in Ripple’s Series B fundraising round last month, in which the company raised $55 million from investors. ($1 = 34.9200 baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong and Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and David Goodman)

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