Vietnamese banks ready to offer interest rate support package

Commercial banks in Vietnam are currently launching the 2 percent interest rate support package from the State budget package of VND40 trillion (US$1.7 billion) for loans to businesses, cooperatives, and household businesses. This is a positive signal of economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vietnamese banks ready to offer interest rate support package ảnh 1

Customers are conducting transactions at a commercial bank in HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)

Being the first in Vietnam to offer the support package, Agribank is planning to allocate VND5 trillion ($216 million) in 2022 and 2023 to its clients. While waiting for the formal allocation decision from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), it is reviewing the clients with credit contracts from the beginning of this year until May 20 (when Circular No.03/2022 came into effect) and an additional agreement in May. If requirements are met, it will proceed with applying this 2-percent interest rate support package.

Vietcombank shared that even though it is impossible to precisely identify the capital demand of customers registering for the support package, the bank has already applied for the package and is waiting for approval from SBV. If the real needs are higher than expected, Vietcombank will ask for more. It is going to work with related units to launch the package as soon as possible to aid needy people in the economic recovery time.

VietinBank informed that the credit balance of those eligible for the support package in 2022-2023 accounts for 30 percent of the bank’s loan outstanding balance. It has already listed eligible customers, along with preparing instructions to implement the interest rate support program consistently in the whole chain.

BIDV is now reviewing eligible clients for the support package and the estimated loan demand in two years to run the program as soon as possible.

Other commercial banks in HCMC are training their sales and credit staff for synchronous and consistent loan procedures via suitable policies. Simultaneously, they are checking and listing qualified customers for the program to immediately apply this interest rate reduction when allowed.

For instance, OCB has already registered for the VND400-billion package ($17.2 million) in two years. VietCapital Bank has done the same.

Vietnamese banks ready to offer interest rate support package ảnh 2

Customers are conducting transactions at a commercial bank in HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)

Understanding the hesitation of many commercial banks when launching this package as they might face high risks letting unsuitable subjects win the loan, SBV has issued a detailed instructional circular for opener accounting of the interest rate support part. That results in a more enthusiastic attitude among commercial banks since they consider this an important mission to facilitate economic growth.

Now that several commercial banks have almost used up their credit rooms, it is more difficult to disburse money to eligible customers of the package. They are waiting for room expansion, but SBV clearly states that depending on the real macroeconomic status and development of the financial market, plus demands from credit organizations, banks should continue to fulfill the assigned credit growth goal.

General Secretary of the Banking Association Nguyen Quoc Hung stated that credit room being used up means brighter economic status. It is necessary to selectively expand this limit for commercial banks, prioritizing those with high compliance on capital adequacy; otherwise, the implementation of the interest rate support package will encounter obstacles.

Deputy Director of the HCMC branch of SBV Nguyen Duc Lenh shared that his unit has already directed credit organizations to urgently develop a professional procedure for the matter, plus proper staff training, to carry out the support package program. These organizations are also requested to announce regulations and instructions on necessary documents and the registration procedure so that needy customers can access the package conveniently and quickly. Registration disapproval must be sent in written form to applicants.

Standing Deputy Governor of SBV Dao Minh Ty stressed that all banks in Vietnam are asked to immediately launch the 2-percent interest rate support package according to Decree No.31 and Circular No.03. This implementation might be labor-intensive, complex, unprofitable with a lot of obstacles, but they should consider it a political mission to boost the national economic recovery.

In addition, commercial banks are not allowed to lower their credit standards, while ensuring to deliver the support to the right subjects for the right purposes in accordance with regulations to minimize violations or risks or even profiteering of policies.