Finance & Banking

Last updated: Friday, March 22, 2019


Vietnam - Strategic Part of Standard Chartered Bank’s ASEAN Network

Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2018

“We would highly recommend the Government and SBV to continue to focus on improving Conduct and Transparency in the Public and Banking sectors as well as on enhancement of Anti-Money Laundering standards,” suggested Mr Nirukt Sapru, CEO Vietnam and ASEAN & South Asia Cluster Markets, Standard Chartered Bank when asked about Vietnam’s recent efforts to improve its banking industry. Le Hien reports.

What is your assessment of Vietnam’s macro-economic conditions and its support for the country’s growth?
I think Vietnam has achieved significant success in managing the macro-economy in recent years, which has created favourable conditions for strong economic growth. Thanks to the direction of the Government and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s adept management of banking policies and liquidity in the system, most macro-economic indicators have improved in 2017. GDP increased 6.81 per cent, higher than target level 6.7 per cent, inflation was well-controlled at 3.53 per cent, interest and FX rates were stable and NPL was well managed below 3 per cent. This has helped minimise market volatility, increase Vietnam’s export competitiveness relative to other ASEAN economies, attract FDI, and create public confidence towards SBV’s management capabilities and policies.

Vietnam enters 2018 with strong momentum and we are confident that it will remain one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. We expect a strong growth of 6.8 per cent this year.

What are the risks that Vietnam needs to monitor in 2018?
Externally, Standard Chartered Global Research anticipates a few top risks to the global economy’s continued strong performance. Political risks around the world will need to continue to be watched. Financially, global trade may not perform as strongly as in 2017 – Asia in particular, as the region most open to trade, cannot count on the same degree of external support. An exception to this is the electronics sector, where global demand remains strong and this may support still solid growth in Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan in 2018. Other financial risks include a decline in global central bank support for markets and growth, and stretched leverage in some markets.

However, I think Vietnam is relatively well-positioned for success in 2018, and we feel there are several opportunities for the Government and SBV to further support the development of the Vietnamese economy.

What is your comment on Vietnam’s recent efforts to improve the health of the banking sector, and the achievements so far?
We applaud the determination of the Government on Resolution 42 on Non-Performing Loans and highly appreciate SBV’s effort in improving the communication of developments in the banking sector. This includes prompt issuance of Decision 1543 on Banking restructuring and NPL settlement for period 2016 – 2020 and SBV’s responsiveness in taking feedback from participants in the banking and finance sector. This has helped to reinforce market confidence, protect the interests of depositors and investors, and facilitate the development of a healthier, safer, and more effective banking system.

We would highly recommend the Government and SBV to continue to focus on improving Conduct and Transparency in the Public and Banking sectors as well as on enhancement of Anti-Money Laundering standards, which will improve the business landscape and contribute to fair competition and an inclusive economy.
In the wake of the 4th industrial revolution, do you think Vietnam’s banking sector is responding well to the trend?
I think the response has been very positive. The Government and SBV have shown a strong interest in pursuing a strategy of continued digitalization of the industry. We applaud the establishment of the Vietnam Fintech Steering Committee, as well as the SBV’s recent workshop on development of Legal framework for digital banking. Both of these initiatives will help to explore and facilitate the necessary steps for the financial system in Vietnam to support the Government’s initiative to develop the economy under the 4th industrial revolution.

How is the Vietnamese market important to Standard Chartered? And what is your strategy in the country?

Vietnam is a key part of our unique international network and represents a strategic part of our ASEAN network.

We are fully committed to participating and investing in Vietnam’s growth through a robust and sound long-term strategy, and offer a full suite of banking products and services for our corporate clients, financial institutions, as well as small and medium enterprises and retail clients, to help them grow their business, create jobs, and generate wealth.

We will continue to draw on our strengths of an extensive international network, in-depth knowledge of the market and advanced advisory and product capabilities to effectively support our clients as they seek to meet their growth ambitions.

We have invested significantly in Vietnam over the last year and desire to continue to invest in the business in Vietnam. This investment has gone towards hiring more staff, expanding our distribution footprint in Vietnam, and bringing new cutting-edge products to Vietnam to make banking safer and more convenient for Vietnamese people and companies.

We recently launched our new office and branch at District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. Besides a full suite of banking products and services for Retail and Corporate Banking clients, the new branch offers a fully robotic Safe Deposit Locker facility - the first of its kind to be available in Vietnam, helping to provide our clients with peace of mind in safeguarding their valuables. We have also launched touchID and FaceID biometric authentication on our mobile banking app to enhance client experience.

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