Photo: Duc Anh
Central bank makes statement after Facebook posts claim Maritime Bank Chairman involved in fraud.
The State Bank of Vietnam officially announced on August 15 that Maritime Bank is operating as normal and its liquidity is guaranteed.
“In any circumstances where banks have trouble with liquidity the SBV can intervene under law to support normal operations and protect the interests of customers,” the SBV stated.
The announcement comes as the bank’s chairman is surrounded by rumors he committed fraud with the leader of a real estate company to obtain VND30 trillion ($1.34 billion) from the bank.
In an internal letter sent to Maritime Bank staff to dismiss rumors posted on Facebook on August 8, Chairman Tran Anh Tuan expressed his innocence.
Reports that “Mr. Dinh Truong Chinh, leader of the Viet Han Group real estate company, was arrested after colluding with myself to take VND30 trillion ($13.45 million) out of Maritime Bank” were absolutely incorrect, Mr. Tuan wrote.
Maritime Bank has provided Viet Han Group with credit of VND300 billion ($13.45 million) for the construction of the Goldmark City urban area in Hanoi’s Cau Giay district. According to a report from Viet Han over 50 per cent of all apartments have been sold and may be handed over earlier than planned.
“Information relating to bank operations need to be studied carefully and official information of authorities taken into account,” the SBV statement said. “The SBV has advised depositors to remain calm.”
Many people, though, have posted on Facebook that Maritime Bank’s situation is worse than thought given the SBV statement. “The State will back it up,” user Gates Binh posted. “Look at the ‘Mogul Kien’ case, where ACB is still operating as normal.” User Tu Anh Tu shared the SBV link and wrote that “It’s all about money, how can we be calm?” Another user, Tran Binh Long, wrote that “There are signs the boat is sinking,” while Nam Hoai Nguyen wrote “It’s other’s people’s money so be calm.”
Mr. Tuan is the husband of Ms. Nguyen Thi Nguyet Huong, who lost her position as the NA delegate for Hanoi in July after it was found she held dual citizenship.
Ms. Huong was also dismissed from her position on the Hanoi People’s Council on August 3 due to inaccuracies in her asset declaration.