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BRANCH BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Vietnam
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Vietnamese banks compete by opening more branches

Banks in Vietnam are opening new branches to strengthen their market presence.

 

According to an unidentified banker in Hanoi, the competition is getting more intense and expanding is the key to survival for banks now.

“The time when banks tried to attract clients with interest rates is now over. Interest rates of different banks have been brought to the same level, so they have to think of new ways to attract deposits,” he said, noting that opening new branches is one of their strategies.

Asia Commercial Bank, the country’s largest non-state bank, plans to open 66 new branches this year. The lender has forecast pretax profit to rise to VND5.5 trillion or US$264 million this year from VND4.2 trillion last year.

“Even though the finance and banking sector in general is facing some difficulties, it’s necessary to expand our network to make our services more accessible to clients around the country,” a VnExpress newswire report cited an unnamed executive as saying.

Viet A Bank also said it targets to have 100 branches by the end of the year, compared to 84 at present. Meanwhile, Dai A Bank has said it will add some 20 branches to expand its network to 100 branches as well.

Vietnam Prosperity Bank, also known as VPBank, said it will use its newly increased capital to strengthen its market presence. The bank, with a registered of more than VND5 trillion, already has 200 branches.

While Vietnam's central bank does not restrict commercial banks from expanding their networks. However, it will consider various factors including risk management, bad debt ratios and financial results of banks before allowing them to open new branches.Fo

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