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Dramatic Shakeup at Thailand’s Major Bank: Bold Leadership Elevations and Spin-off Strategies Unleashed! Are You Ready for What’s Next?

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Big waves are being made in Thailand’s financial landscape. The country’s second-largest financial institution in terms of total assets, Kasikornbank, aka KBank, recently announced an extensive overhaul of its business structure. Strategic changes include the appointment of a new president and co-president and the implementation of a strategic business spin-off.

News of these pivotal changes reached the forefront after an official announcement was made to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) concerning the appointment of banking veteran Chongrak Rattanapian as the new president and executive director. Leaving behind his former position as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), Chongrak is expected to step into his new role from August 29. With over two decades of experience and comprehensive knowledge of KBank’s operations, he is slated to execute critical functions pertaining to risk management, as well as KBank’s environmental, social, and governance strategies.

Awaiting approval from the Bank of Thailand is the appointment of the new co-president, Rungruang Sukkirdkijpiboon. With his wealth of experience in retail banking and advisory roles, most notably at Krungthai Bank and Siam Commercial Bank, he is expected to be a valuable addition to the restructuring effort.

Among other important changes is the elevation of Sansana Sukhanunth to the role of executive vice president and CFO, a position previously held by the incoming president, Chongrak. This news was confirmed via the report released by SET.

These appointments follow the resignations of the preceding co-presidents of KBank, Krit Jitjang and Patchara Samalapa, on July 31. However, they have transitioned into new roles within the company. Patchara serving as the group chairman of Kasikorn Investure Co (KIV), a subsidiary of KBank operating as part of the bank’s business spin-off strategy, and Krit guiding the bank’s chief executive, Kattiya Indaravijaya, as the advisory panel’s chairman. They both assumed their new roles on August 1, 2023.

KBank’s strategic restructuring has given birth to KIV, which now operates as a holding company under the KBank Group. KIV aims to serve individuals and fledgling entrepreneurs, particularly those struggling for access to banking loans. Its growth strategy rests on the pillars of joint ventures and partnerships, with the ambition of reducing the price-earnings ratio and credit costs.

Kattiya, the bank’s chief executive, elaborated on KIV’s role, which ranges from managing digital payments to offering commercial and consumer loans. She emphasized that these strategic changes would facilitate KBank’s efforts to extend retail-based loans with optimized flexibility via a new digital-based business model.

As the bank continues to realign its operations, it has also announced the appointment of Nathapol Luepromchai as the executive vice president overseeing credit products. Formerly serving as the executive vice president and head of mortgage loans at the Bank of Ayudhya, aka Krungsrim, Nathapol’s influence and years of experience will undoubtedly be beneficial to KBank’s successful transition during this period of pivotal change.

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