Sacombank speaks out on criminal proceedings against ex-executives

The Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) on August 1 delivered a press release on criminal proceedings against its former executives Tram Be and Phan Huy Khang. 

Tram Be is the former vice chairman of the board of directors of Sacombank and ex-chairman of the bank’s credit council, while Phan Huy Khang is an ex-member of the credit council and former general director of the bank. 

They are accused of intentionally violating State regulations on economic management and causing serious consequences relating to a case involving Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of the board of directors at the Việt Nam Construction Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VNCB), former chairman of the members’ council and general director of the Thien Thanh Group Co. Ltd. 

Sacombank said according to a State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) inspection, Sacombank did not incur losses through lending to six companies Danh is found to have been linked with, adding that the bank recovered the capital and interest from the loans by April 2014. Tram Be has not held a management position at the bank since February 23, 2017, while Phan Huy Khang has held no position at the bank since July 3, 2017, according to Sacombank. 

On June 30, 2017, Sacombank’s annual shareholders’ meeting for the 2016-2017 fiscal year elected the board of directors and supervisory board for the 2017-2021 period, with Duong Cong Minh elected chairman of the board of directors. 

The press release said Minh is leading Sacombank through a banking restructuring scheme approved by SBV, with several major plans, such as reshuffling apparatus and personnel, improving business operations, handling and recovering bad debts and managing expenses, as well as reforming business procedures and ensuring safety and sustainable development. Sacombank said it is operating normally and recording stable growth.

In the first seven months of the year, the bank mobilised more than VNĐ326.6 trillion (US$14.37 billion), a year-on-year rise of eight per cent, and lent VNĐ218.5 trillion, a yearly increase of 12.2 per cent. Its accumulated profits in the first seven months reached VNĐ586 billion, surpassing the yearly target by 29 per cent. 

The Police Department for Investigation of Economic and Corruption-related Crimes on August 1 launched criminal proceedings and detained Tram Be and Phan Huy Khang. Tram Be allegedly colluded with Pham Cong Danh and accomplices to use money from Sacombank to guarantee and pay off the debts of six companies set up by Danh, causing losses of more than VNĐ1.8 trillion for VNCB. 

In April 2013, Danh asked Tram Be to lend him money to pay off debts the six companies had incurred. Tram Be agreed to loan Danh VNĐ1.8 trillion from Sacombank, with VNCB’s deposits in Sacombank used as collateral. Later, Trầm Bê took Danh to meet Phan Huy Khang to complete the loan procedures. 

On April 26, 2013, VND1.8 trillion was transferred to Danh’s account. A day later, he used VNĐ1.7 trillion to pay off debts to the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam (BIDV). Danh kept the remaining money in his personal account. 

As Danh’s companies failed to pay off their debts to Sacombank, the bank took VNĐ1.8 trillion and VND35 billion in interest from VNCB’s deposits. On February 24, 2017, the SBV announced that it had terminated Tram Be’s role at Sacombank, source from Vietnamnews.

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