What’s happening in the retail banking market?
Many Vietnamese banks have reported high growth rates in retail banking in recent years.
VietinBank has reported high growth rates in the retail banking with the outstanding loans increasing by 2.5 times in 2015 compared with 2014 and by 35 percent in 2016 compared with 2015.
The capital mobilized by the bank by the end of 2016 increased by 21.2 percent compared with 2015, while retail turnover increased by 30 percent.
After the restructuring, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) has regained its strength in the retail banking market. In 2016, its pretax profit increased by 27 percent compared with the year before to VND1.667 trillion.
According to the Saigon Securities Incorporated (SSI), ACB’s lending to individual clients in 2016 increased by 30 percent thanks to a large network and experienced workforce.
Analysts noted that the bank’s proportion in lending to individuals increased significantly (accounting for 53 percent of outstanding loans by the end of 2016, higher than the 49 percent by the end of 2015), while the loan-to-deposit ratio has improved (77 percent in 2016 vs 76 percent in 2015).
They also commented that the increased investment in technology helps Vietnamese banks well exploit the retail banking market. With large networks and modern technology, banks can provide diversified retail banking products which increase the revenue.
What are foreign banks doing?
In late 2014, HSBC Vietnam told the local press that it found retail banking was a stable and less risky sector which can bring high revenue. By 2015, the bank had for five consecutive years led the market in terms of card payment revenue, according to Visa.
However, the Number 1 position unexpectedly went to Vietcombank in 2016, while HSBC Vietnam fell into the third position.
The commercial banks which hold the biggest market share reported by VisaNet include many Vietnamese names - Vietcombank, Vietinbank, Military Bank, ACB and Techcombank. Meanwhile, two foreign names are Citibank and HSBC.
ANZ was recognized as the best retail bank in Vietnam in 2013. Some sources said ANZ is negotiating with partners on the transfer of its retail banking division. Three foreign banks and two Vietnamese banks have shown their interest in ANZ’s retail banking division.
The decision by ANZ could be a part of its plan to adjust business strategy. However, analysts commented that the Vietnamese retail banking market, where only 20 percent of the population has approached consumer finance services, is not as attractive as it may appear.
Kim Chi, VNN