In line the Asean Economic Community's (AEC) goal of economic and banking integration among the bloc's 10-member nations, Malaysia's Central Bank recently announced that it has signed agreements with its counterparts in the Philippines and Thailand.
The agreement will allow market access and operational flexibility for lenders. The AEC commenced on 31st December 2015 aiming to promote the free flow of trade, manpower and capital in the region's 625 million-people market that has an estimated economic output of US$2.6 trillion (RM10.5 trillion).
According to the Bank of Thailand, the agreement is a foundation for increased bilateral negotiations in the future, particularly in the establishment of Qualified Asean Banks (QABs) in each member country. The QAB status will be open to all banks in the region, with the criteria determined by the central banks of the nations involved in the agreements. The status allows the banks to operate freely in both countries.