Foreign-Owned Institutions’ Regional Efforts

  • Michael T. Skully


When discussing ASEAN finance there is a tendency to consider foreign financial institutions as outsiders or new arrivals to the Asian scene and not really part of the regional co-operation process. Historically, though, foreign bankers effectively established organised banking as we know it today in Asia. For example, the UK’s Chartered Bank (formerly the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China) is the oldest bank in operation both in Singapore (1859) and in Malaysia (1875).1 In Thailand, the British-owned Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation was the first to commence local banking (1888) and in Indonesia the Dutch colonial government’s Javasche Bank (now Bank Indonesia) was the first bank (1827). Only in the Philippines, with the establishment of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (1851), was the first domestic bank not a wholly foreign venture.2


Foreign Bank Philippine Island Domestic Bank Offshore Banking Nassau Group 
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  1. 3.
    As cited in Vincent Gabriel, ‘Financing ASEAN Development’, Singapore Banking and Finance 1978 (Singapore: Institute of Banking and Finance, 1978) p. 178. As Citibank established a branch presence in 1902, it has undoubtedly had some effect on local development. In Singapore, too, a number of Citibank-trained bankers recently left for high positions in domestic banks.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    J. Panglaykim, ‘Financial Markets and their Contribution to the Development of ASEAN: An Assessment’, Indonesian Quarterly, July 1975, p. 54.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Malaysia’s ASEAM bankers are the only element still untouched. For a discussion of the ASEAM group see Michael T. Skully, Merchant Banking in ASEAN: A Regional Examination of its Experiences and Operations (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1983) pp. 67–70.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Australasian Consulting, Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael T. Skully
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South WalesAustralia

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