HCM CITY: HCM City-based banks have set themselves ambitious targets for 2016, including credit growth of 16-18 per cent. They city also expect to increase deposits by 17-19 per cent and decrease bad debts to below 3 per cent.
These and other targets were announced at a conference held yesterday by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) in the city to review last year’s banking operations and outline plans for 2016.
To achieve the targets, director of the SBV’s city branch, To Duy Lam, said several measures are required, including speeding up of bank restructuring and improving the effectiveness of monetary and credit management.
The banking sector also needs to effectively implement the Government and central bank’s credit programmes in combination with the city’s socio-economic development schemes to achieve the credit target, he said.
“In particular, it will have to implement preferential credit policies and programmes connecting banks and enterprises, and co-operate with local authorities to create more banks and financial companies with strong brand names.” Other important measures are to develop the non-cash payment system and settle the problem of bad debts.
“Credit institutions will continue to develop various services like online banking, internet banking, and mobile banking.” All these efforts are to ensure customers benefit, thus attracting more of them, he said. To reduce the bad debts, the SBV would instruct local credit institutions to prepare for coping with non-performing loans (NPLs), he said.
Banks should actively work with borrowers to settle NPLs even if they have already been sold to the Viet Nam Asset Management Company, he added. In 2015 despite the economic situation in the country, especially in HCM City, the banking sector achieved encouraging results.
Banks’ total deposits grew to nearly VND1.57 trillion (US$69.78 million), 16.6 per cent higher than in the previous year. With public savings increasing by 13.4 per cent and accounting for 52.3 per cent of total funds, the stability of funds improved.
The success was owed to the SBV’s judicious policies related to exchange and interest rates and foreign exchange policies, which not only helped stabilise the economy, money market and credit institutions’ foreign exchange activities but also boosted the anti-dollarisation efforts.
At the end of last year banks’ total outstanding loans were worth over VND1.23 trillion ($54.66 million), a year-on-year increase of 15.6 per cent, with dong loans accounting for almost 89 per cent. The growth rate, the highest in five years, was possible due to the recovery in the economy and enterprises’ health, and to the monetary, credit and interest rate policies.
The non-payment cash service system also developed nicely with the availability of 4,180 ATM machines and 33,600 merchants accepting cards, including many supermarkets, restaurants, shops, malls, and tourist areas. As of November the bad debt ratio had fallen by 15.6 per cent to VND8.84 trillion. The figure accounted for 4.03 per cent of total outstanding loans.