The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has pledged to continue regular inspections of commercial banks to ensure the safety of Vietnam's financial system.

The pledge came after the SBV's Bank Supervisory Agency completed the first six months of inspections, designed to make the nation's banking sector healthier.

It is intended that close monitoring will identify banks that need restructuring and reduce the risk of a financial crisis.

The SBV confirmed that in the first six months, it had provided strict guidelines for voluntary mergers, consolidations, and acquisitions taking place to remedy unfit lenders.

So far eight restructuring plans for nine commercial banks have been submitted to the Prime Minister. Under the submission, three banks have merged and another three banks have received approval for self-restructuring plans.

The central bank is yet to impose any involuntary restructuring, with only one bank under consideration for compulsory intervention.

For the past two years, mergers have involved Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB), Vietnam Tin Nghia Bank (TinNghiaBank) and First Commercial Bank (Ficombank).
The SBV last year also gave approval for a takeover of the Hanoi Housing Commercial Joint Stock Bank (HBB) by the Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank, merging over 8.866 trillion VND (422.19 million USD) of capital.

PetroVietnam Finance Joint Stock Corp (PVFC) and Western Commercial Joint Stock Bank (WTB) are also seeking a SBV approval for a completed merger to help boost earnings by the third quarter.

The SBV backed the measures, saying they were helping to create a more solvent banking sector.

In a further measure, the SBV last week officially launched the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) to resolve bad debts.-VNA