At the conference (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) –
More than 773,000 out of over 1 million firms in the country, or 73.4 percent, are unable to access credit, it was reported at a conference on promoting access to credit held by the National Credit Information Centre (CIC) in Ho Chi Minh City on June 18.

Le Anh Tuan, director of the CIC’s Research Development Division, said in HCM City alone, 44.5 percent of firms do not have access to credit.

He said even though the figure included firms which do not need credit, the fact is a majority of firms are unable to access loans provided by credit institutions or have to borrow at high interest rates.

The CIC’s figure is similar to statistics of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which estimated about 70 percent of domestic firms cannot access banks’ loan. Deputy Director of VCCI’s Ho Chi Minh branch Tran Ngoc Liem said banks still give preferential treatment to State-owned enterprises compared to small and medium-sized ones.

According to Liem, the main reason is the SMEs do not have assets for mortgage, and their financial situation lacks transparency, leading to banks hesitant to lend.

The situation prompts credit organisations to improve access to their credit, in which the CIC plays in important role in supplying firms with credit information.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh branch, the CIC’s information is important for banks to control risks in lending, because a firm can open accounts in many different banks at the same time.

The CIC’s database is storing more than 40.6 million dossiers of borrowers, including about 1 million enterprises. The database is built with the participation of 122 credit organisations and foreign banks’ branches, nearly 1.200 people’s credit funds and 4 official micro-financial organisations.

To improve access to credit, the CIC is working to provide more products and flexible services in line with current trends on the financial market, diversify channels for information provision and reduce fees for using credit information.

Recently, the centre has put into operation a portal for borrowers, allowing them to study and select credit packages as well as to submit borrowing requests to suitable credit organisations. The portal also allows participating credit organisation to connect with customers, thus cutting time and cost in searching for and selecting customers while ensuring the transparency in the relationship between credit organisations and borrowers.-VNA