Military Bank Promotes Soldierly Quality on Economic Front

9:55:29 AM | 30/12/2019

Over 25 years of development, Military Joint Stock Bank (MB) has become a stable, reliable, sustainable and reputable financial institution. On the occasion of the 75th founding anniversary of the Vietnamese People's Army (December 22, 1944 - December 22, 2019) and the New Year 2020, the Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Senior Lieutenant General Le Huu Duc, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank. Quynh Ngoc reports.

Dressed in a military uniform and shouldered with the mission on the economic front, how do you assess this mission? How have you promoted the alignment of soldierly cultural identity with corporate culture, especially in the current period of strong international economic integration?

Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank was established on November 4, 1994 under the decisions of the Minister of Defense and the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, with the initial purpose of financing military-run enterprises. MB started with an initial registered capital of VND20 billion and 25 employees and the original founding shareholders were military companies. After 25 years of development, with the working principle of “Respecting rule of law” and the business motto of “Effective, safe, sustainable development” built on six core cultural values of “Solidarity, Discipline, Devotion, Enforcement, Trust and Efficiency”, we have grown rapidly and obtained many achievements. After a quarter century of development, our workforce has increased from 25 to nearly 16,000 employees; registered capital from VND20 billion to VND23.7 trillion; the total assets have grown more than 12,000 times to nearly VND400 trillion; the business location has increased from one head office to a strong network of 300 branches and transaction points in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Russia; and our organizational structure has been expanded from a bank to a financial group with a core bank and six member companies engaged in finance, banking and insurance.

With its achievements, MB has been honored with many noble awards by the Party, the State, the Government, the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of Defense, the State Bank of Vietnam, ministries, branches, localities, associations, organizations and well-reputed international financial institutions, including the First-class National Defense Order (2019); Labor Hero (2015); First-class Labor Order (2014); Third-class Labor Order (2013); emulation flags from the Government, the Ministry of Defense, the State Bank of Vietnam and the Hanoi People's Committee; the Certificate of Merit from the Ministry of Finance for fulfilling its budget obligations; Vietnam Gold Star Award; Top 50 of 500 Largest Vietnam Enterprises; ASEAN Business Award; Outstanding Retail Bank; Top 50 Most Valuable Brands in Vietnam; IT-powered Bank; Top 3 Best Bank to Work for in Vietnam; and Sao Khue IT Award 2019.

Despite such strong development, our core value has never changed over time. We are proud to say that we have built a cultural value that bears a unique identity of MB, built on the basis of the comradeship of Uncle Ho’s soldiers. It is firm solidarity, sharing in sweet times and in tough times, bravery to confront all challenges. It is discipline at work, dedication to the work. It is the culture of fast action, rule of law, security and performance. This is illustrated by the respect of the Board of Directors, the Supervisory Board, the Board of Management, and all employees to regulations and standards of MB itself, the Party, the State, the Government and the Ministry of Defense.

It can be said that these cultural foundations and core values are success factors ​​of MB over the past 25 years, and I believe that this will also be a solid basis for us to confidently enter a new development stage.

Aiming to become the most convenient bank and a Top 5 bank in Vietnam by business performance and safety by 2021, how will you work to realize these goals?

Right in 2017, the Board of Directors and the Executive Board of MB focused resources, studied and launched the MB Development Strategy for 2017-2021, based on market developments, steadfast to directions of the Party, the State, the Government, the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of Defense, the State Bank of Vietnam, with the motto “Innovation, modernity, cooperation and sustainability”, and the “rule of law” principle to firmly stand among “Top 5 commercial banks in Vietnam by business performance and risk management”. We are determined to carry out four strategic shifts: Digital banking, customer relations improvement, outstanding risk management, and performance management of member companies. We are executing 10 strategic projects, consulted by leading corporations in the world such as IBM, Prophet and Bordier. We will deploy specific action plans in the strategy of taking the lead in technology development, digital banking; high quality personnel; new brand identity; network expansion and corporate culture strengthening to inherit the foundation that we have successfully developed in the past time while making a difference and maximizing inherent strengths. In addition, in order to prepare for business, we have built an outstanding risk management platform and optimized operational processes. Right from the beginning of 2019, we were one of the first banks approved by the State Bank of Vietnam to meet Basel 2 standards - the advanced risk management standard in the world.

Finally, driven by aspiration to become a “strong financial group with business presence in the region and in the world” in which MB is the core of the group supported by six member companies active in life insurance, non-life insurance, securities, consumer finance, fund management, debt management and asset business, we will work closely with strategic partners - world-leading financial corporations such as Shinsei Bank of Japan and Ageas Insurance Group of Belgium to build and develop its member companies into industry leaders. I believe that our goal of building a strong financial and banking group with regional and global presence will soon become true.

The way value chains choose partners; consumers choose products and services; and workers choose places to work all aims for values ​​that are humane and sustainable, not only short-term economic benefits. Sustainable businesses can make products and services chosen first by customers and are also ideal workplaces chosen by workers. How have you been doing this? What are sustainable values ​​that you have brought to the community in the past years?

Since its establishment, the Board of Directors, the Supervisory Board and the Board of Management have always strictly followed our mission “for national development, for customer interests” in all our activities. We are proud of being a business that has fulfilled the above mission and is a socially responsible enterprise. The Party and the Government highly appreciated our great contributions to the development of military economic development, military security, socioeconomic development, liquidity support and financial and monetary market stabilization in Vietnam. These contributions are recognized with many great titles and prizes awarded to MB such as Labor Hero (2015), First-Class Labor Order (2014); Third-class Labor Order (2013) and the First-class National Defense Order (2019).

For our customers, we place them at the heart of our activity, and always strive to improve service quality and customer experiences. We advise on quality products and services and work closely with corporate customers in their business operations. MB prides itself on having many loyal customers since its inception because we have been with them, supporting them even in their most difficult periods.

Since its inception, MB has promoted the good nature and glorious tradition of warriors on the economic front; been united, active, creative, self-reliant, self-resilient to overcome all difficulties, improve operational quality, and bring best banking products and services to individuals, economic organizations and enterprises across the country, to give a helping hand to the cause of Vietnam’s economic development in general and improve the business performance of the banking industry in particular.

For shareholders, we are always one of the best banks that ensures shareholder interests, the only bank that pays dividends annually even in the context of global and domestic economic crisis or recession. In the past years, MB has always been a good dividend payer in the market. The value and liquidity of MBB shares in the market has always appealed to investors. Besides, our shareholders have long-term benefits as MB is investing in potential areas and obtaining good results such as consumer finance, life insurance and digital banking.

Especially in 2011 - 2018, MB cumulatively paid nearly VND10 trillion to the State Budget. Besides, we actively participated in key national construction projects, key economic and national defense projects. Particularly, social security, hunger eradication, poverty alleviation, gratitude, and rural construction programs worth hundreds of billions of dong have become a cultural beauty of MB, which are recognized and appreciated by local people and authorities.

I believe that, in the coming time, we will make more contributions to national development and to the army, improve quality of life for people, and deserve the First-class National Defense Order awarded on the occasion of the 25th founding anniversary.

Thank you very much!