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BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Vietnam

UOB gets preliminary approval to establish subsidiary bank in Vietnam

UOB will be the first Singapore bank to be granted a foreign-owned subsidiary bank licence.

United Overseas Bank Limited received preliminary approval from the State Bank of Vietnam to establish a foreign-owned subsidiary bank in Vietnam. 

Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UOB, said that given the strategic importance of Vietnam and its economic potential, he was very pleased to receive the news of the preliminary approval.

“We were the first Singapore bank to open a foreign bank branch in Vietnam in 1995 and since then have maintained an unwavering commitment to the country. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Vietnamese authorities and the local financial institutions to contribute to the development and progress of the country, its industry and its people,” Mr Wee said.

The State Bank of Vietnam has said it will issue UOB an in-principle approval for the FOSB licence by June 2017. Under the licence, the Bank will be able to expand its branch network in Vietnam, thereby enabling UOB to extend financial support and to offer best-in-class products and service to consumers and businesses beyond Ho Chi Minh City.

Mr Wee said that UOB looks forward to helping more Vietnamese companies in their domestic growth and expansion plans and by connecting them to cross-border opportunities through UOB’s extensive regional network. In 2013, UOB set up a dedicated FDI Advisory Unit in Vietnam, its ninth unit in the region, to offer seamless and integrated services to its clients expanding their businesses within the country and across borders.

UOB has also been promoting Vietnam as an investment destination, supporting its regional clients venturing into and expanding within the country. Among its initiatives, UOB signed a memorandum of understanding in 2015 with Vietnam’s Foreign Investment Agency to facilitate trade and investment between Vietnam and Southeast Asia. It was the agency’s first such collaboration with a bank.

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