AEIR 2019/2020

Money and Finance

ASEAN Banking Integration Framework (ABIF)

In December 2014, the ASEAN Central Bank Governors endorsed the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework (ABIF) and its attendant Guidelines. The provision enabling the implementation of ABIF is in the Protocol to Implement the 6th Package of Commitments on Financial Services under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS), which was signed by the ASEAN Finance Ministers in March 2015.

ABIF allows banks meeting certain criteria (“Qualified ASEAN Banks” or QABs) to have greater access to other ASEAN markets and more flexibility in operating there. ABIF recognises that some countries are more ready than others to further open up their banking sector and that gaps in market access across AMS still persist. Hence, the current focus is on pursuing bilateral reciprocal arrangements.