RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Vietnam

Agribank begins massive restructuring

Vietnam’s largest bank is about to shed non-essential operations as it moves towards becoming a completely commercial bank.

The Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development or Agribank currently focuses on nine business segments: transaction accounts; insurance stock brokerage; investment bank; asset-based lending; consumer finance; trade; international payments and foreign exchange.

The restructuring, which begins this month and might take up to four years, will reduce Agribank’s operations to raising capital, developing and improving banking services and promoting its branding campaign.

Nguyen Ngoc Bao, Chairman of Agribank’s board of directors, said the main objective of the change is to put Agribank back on track to becoming a state-owned commercial bank performing critical tasks for agriculture and rural development set by the government and the State Bank of Vietnam, the central bank.

As of September 2011, Agribank was the largest bank in Vietnam in assets (US$25 billion), capital (US$23 billion), staff (37,500 employees), operational network (over 2,300 branches and transaction offices) and customers (over 10 million).

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