Over the past years, post-crisis monetary policies and high inflation have caused heavy capital burdens on businesses. Under the directions of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the banking system including the Vietnam International Bank, has taken series of measures and launched many credit packages to support local enterprises. To get more information about the issue, the Vietnam Business Forum had an interview with Mr Han Ngoc Vu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vietnam International Bank (VIB).
After nearly 20 years of operation, VIB has strongly developed and become one of Vietnam’s leading commercial joint stock banks. The bank has greatly contributed to the national socio-economic development. What are the most impressive things during the development process of VIB?
VIB is now one of the leading commercial joint stock banks in Vietnam. The bank has its strategic stakeholder, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the leading financial institution in Australia, and one of the world’s safest banks. It is now in the world’s top 10 banks in terms of market capitalisation. With nearly 4,000 professional staffworking at 160 branches in 27 cities and provinces throughout the country, VIB is offering a wide range of financial solutions to around 1.2 million personal customers and more than 20,000 corporate customers and foreign direct investment (FDI) corporate customers doing business in Vietnam. Despite the global economic slowdown and uncertainties in the banking system, VIB still stands firm in the home market. With the vision to be “the most innovative and customer-centric bank in Vietnam”, VIB has embraced its vision to continually improve its customer service quality, finance and risk management capabilities to meet international standards and improve the quality of its services to ensure their efficiency and transparency
At the meeting with businesses on March 22, 2013, authorities of Hanoi pledged to help the business community with easier access to loans with soft interest rates and give incentives to them to expand their business activities. What specific measures has VIB taken to support local businesses?
The year 2012 wrapped up with persistent uncertainties of the national economy. Businesses and the banking system still faced many difficulties. Since the beginning of 2012, VIB has launched many credit packages with soft lending interest rates to ease businesses’ capital shortage. The packages included a VND4 trillion one at a preferential interest rate, which is 1.5 per cent per annum lower than the normal interest rate; a VND2 trillion package at preferential interest ratefor businesses in the food and drink (F&D) sector; a US$50 million package at special interest rate for import-export firms; and a VND2.6 trillion package at preferential interest rateforbusinesses meeting criteria of VIB. In early 2013, under the request of the State Bank of Vietnam, VIB granted a credit limit of VND1 trillion at a preferential interest rate, which is 1 per cent/year lower than the normal interest rate, to enterprises in the rice sector. Besides interest incentive packages, VIB has also launched many special product packages for enterprises.
For personal customers, in May 2012, VIB offered a preferential credit package of VND1 trillion at interest rate from 9.9 per cent per year for real estate loans in the first 3 months; a VND2 trillion package at interest rate of 11.5 per cent per year in the first three months; and a preferential credit package of VND1 trillion atinterest rate from 9.9 per cent per year for business loans in the first three months (August 2012). The bank also offered a discount of 3 per cent a year for customers purchasing cars in the first six months. VIB also launched a preferential credit package of VND3 trillion at a preferential interest rate from 11.79 per cent per year for 12 months for individual business and real estate loans (in March 2013). Notably, VIB disbursed a total of VND436 billion from the rural financing project (RDF)’s capital for 1,744 customers, making it one of financial institutions which used RDF capital the most efficiently. The project also helped create jobs for 6,615 people.
One of important operating policies of VIB is corporate social responsibility; what has VIB done to promote the policy over the past years?
Besides the achievements in its banking and financial services, VIB always pays due attention to doing various community-oriented activities in many different localities across the country, with the desire to contribute to the socio-economic development of Vietnamese people and corporate social responsibilities are regarded as the lodestar in the bank’s business operation since its establishment in 1996. Annually, the bank launched many activities to support the community. VIB’s corporate social responsibilities focus on environmental protection, charity and education sponsorship.
Over the past years, VIB has granted tens of billions of dong to educational programs to promote the development of Vietnamese talents. The bank has sponsored various events including granting scholarships to students of Foreign Trade University and Academy of Banking. VIB also sponsored the Academy of Banking’s “Future Bankers” programme and the programme “Glorify Vietnam”. VIB also helped raise funds for children with diseases, victims of the collapse of Can Tho Bridge, people in the flooded central provinces and the Operation Smile, and financed the construction of houses for poor people in Kien Giang province and preservation of the Truong Bon historical relics in Nghe An province and those in the southern province of Dong Nai.
With various social activities performed over the past years, VIB won “The Excellence of Corporate Social Responsibility 2013″ award presented by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.