The total assets of the domestic credit institution system were worth nearly 6,520 trillion VND (310.48 billion USD) at the end of last year, a 12.2 percent increase over 2013.

The value of the assets was a record high, news website reported, citing the latest data from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).

In 2014, State-run banks' assets grew 14.82 percent year-on-year to touch nearly 2,880 trillion VND (137.14 billion USD), while the value of the assets of joint-stock banks rose by 13.1 percent year-on-year to reach roughly 2.78 quadrillion VND (132.38 billion USD). Joint-venture and foreign banks saw no changes in their asset values.

The combined ownership capital of credit institutions hit about 496.57 trillion VND (23.65 billion USD), a year-on-year increase of 4.36 percent. Their charter capital totalled 435.65 trillion VND (20.74 billion USD), up 3.29 percent year-on-year.

These capital growth rates were significantly lower than those recorded in previous years. The growth of ownership capital and charter capital of credit institutions was nearly nine percent and 11.2 percent respectively in 2012, and 9.6 percent and 8.1 percent respectively in 2013.

Market observers said that while a bank's capital is very important in assuring depositors' interests in case of risks, the slowing down of capital expansion last year showed that lenders were facing difficulties in luring investment capital.

Many banks reportedly failed to implement plans to increase capital during 2014. At the beginning of this month, the SBV announced that it will take over the Vietnam Construction Bank, which is being restructured, to restore its payment capacity.

The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of the credit institution system reached 12.75 percent at the end of last year, significantly higher than the expected level of nine percent, according to the report.

The CAR was 9.4 percent for State-run banks, and 12.07 percent for joint-stock banks.-VNA