Vietnam - Banking SystemsVietnam - Banking Systems
The central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), is the main financial regulatory agency. The SBV supervises one policy bank, the Social Policy Bank of Vietnam, four majority state-owned commercial banks (SOCB’s) Vietcombank, BIDV, Vietinbank and Agribank, 31 joint-stock (private) banks, four joint-venture banks, 47 representative offices of foreign banks, 49 branches of foreign banks, 16 financial companies, 11 financial leasing companies, and 9 wholly-owned foreign banks (Source: SBV). The SBV is not an independent body like the U.S. Federal Reserve and it continues to operate under government oversight.
The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other international donors, including the United States, are assisting Vietnam with the implementation of financial reforms to help ensure stability and promote the effectiveness of the banking system in Vietnam. The reform programs focus on three main areas: the restructuring of joint-stock banks; the restructuring and equitization of the SOCB's; and improving the regulatory framework and increasing transparency. Other ongoing projects aim to modernize the interbank market, create an international accounting system, and allow outside audits of the major Vietnamese banks. The SBV is in the process of strengthening its own internal processes and enhancing the level of inspections and supervision of the banks within its jurisdiction. In November 2017, Vietnam introduced a new law, effective in January 2018, amending and supplementing a number of articles of the 2010 Law on Credit Institutions. In this law, bankruptcy was introduced for the first time as a plan for restructuring the banking system.
Although the banking sector remains small, banking networks and services have been expanding rapidly and there is great potential for banks to develop the retail banking business (75 percent of Vietnam’s 93 million people use limited banking services, while the remaining 25 percent do not use any banking services.)