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Banking & Finance

ANZ Vietnam unifies operations

Released at: 17:50, 10/10/2016

ANZ Vietnam unifies operations

Photo: ANZ

Hanoi branch closes and becomes part of ANZ Bank Vietnam.

by Hung Nguyen

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has withdrawn the business license of the ANZ Banking Group Limited - Hanoi Branch (ANZBLG), which opened in 1993, at the request of the ANZ Group, to bring together the two entities of the bank operating in Vietnam. In 2009 the ANZ Group established a fully foreign owned local bank called ANZ Bank Vietnam Limited (ANZVL) and has since continued to operate ANZBLG.

In response to doubts about the long-term commitment of ANZ in Vietnam, bank representatives said that it was a perfectly normal step to take in changing its operating model to that of a fully-owned foreign bank in Vietnam. “The closure of ANZBLG is part of efforts to consolidate its business as a wholly foreign-owned local entity, and the termination of ANZBLG does not have any impact on ANZ’s strategy, commitment and operations in Vietnam or its customers’ banking needs,” a representative from the bank told VET.

ANZ Vietnam now has eight transaction offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, providing Retail & Wealth, Consumer Finance, Corporate, Financial Institution, and Public Sector services to customers.

It recently announced it was voted No.1 among foreign forex (FX) providers in Vietnam in Asiamoney’s FX Poll 2016. This is the fifth consecutive year it has received the title in Vietnam. It was ranked best in four categories: Overall FX Services, FX Products and Services, FX Options and FX Research & Market Coverage.

In August, Mr. Mark Whelan, Head of ANZ’s Institutional Banking, told Reuters in Singapore that the bank is conducting a strategic review on retail, which is expected to strengthen its balance sheet and help it meet more stringent capital rules that Australian and global regulators now demand. He said the retail review was part of a “reshaping” of the lender’s Asian strategy that included exiting its commercial business in the region and focusing on its core strengths in debt capital markets, syndicated loans, and trading. ANZ Vietnam did not respond to the comments at the time.

Similar moves have been made by other large foreign banks in Vietnam since the country approved the opening of fully foreign-owned banks in the country under its WTO commitments. Permission to open fully foreign-owned banks took effect in August but since September 2008 the SBV has permitted Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and HSBC to open fully-owned foreign entities.

In 2015 HSBC closed its branches in Hanoi and in 2014 SCB announced its branch in Ho Chi Minh City would close. Both changed their operation model to that of a fully-owned foreign bank in Vietnam.

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