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Foreign banks expanding services in Vietnam   2009-06-17 - DT

To date, the State Bank of Vietnam has licenced only five foreign finance and banking groups to set up 100 percent foreign-owned entities in Vietnam. ANZ Bank and HBSC, in particular, are undertaking a major expansion of their retail network.


ANZ Bank and HSBC have already shifted to operate as 100 percent foreign-owned banks incorporated in Vietnam instead of foreign bank branches. Standard Chartered Bank will change its mode of operation in July. The two other banks are preparing to do the same.   


Just a short period since changing its operating model, HSBC Vietnam has opened six transaction offices in Hanoi and HCM city. It plans to open one more branch in HCM City by the end of the year and in Binh Duong province on July 1.


HSBC says its strategy in Vietnam is to build up a firm foundation based on which the bank will bring products and services of international standard to Vietnam.


HSBC sees Vietnam as a market with great potential.  Noting that less than 10 percent of the Vietnamese population has bank accounts, HBSC Vietnam executive Lyndsay Rajar, said that with the opening of new transaction offices, HSBC Vietnam will have a chance to integrate more deeply into the retail market.


On June 15, ANZ opened its first transaction office in the South Saigon urban area, the second office opened in Vietnam since the bank shifted to work as a 100 percent foreign-owned bank.


ANZ plans to open six new offices in June, including three in Hanoi and three in HCM City. All branches of ANZ are open to receive customers from 8 am until 17.30 with no break time. ANZ now has a network of 80 ATMs across the country.


Standard Chartered Bank is also planning to expand its network after officially changing its mode of operation.


HSBC Vietnam has been pushing up consumer lending. HSBC has also been promoting the issuance of credit cards, cooperating with other finance groups, including insurers, to expand banking products.

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