Retail banking – a trend amidst international integration: forum hinh anh 1Vietcombank is one of leading retail banks in Vietnam (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Retail banking is now a global trend and an opportunity for Vietnamese banks to secure their foothold in the domestic and foreign markets amidst the country’s strong international integration. 

General Secretary of the Vietnam Banks Association Tran Thi Hong Hanh made the assessment at the Vietnam Retail Banking Forum 2015, held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 18. 

Le Thanh Tam, CEO of the International Data Group – IDG ASEAN, noted drastic changes in Vietnam’s banking sector this year, including bank restructuring through mergers and acquisitions, efforts and policies of the State Bank of Vietnam to reduce bad debt, and preparations for harmonising the banking system of Southeast Asian countries. 

The changes served as a driving force for recent breakthroughs in the banking sector and in retail banking in particular, he stressed. 

IDG ASEAN reported that amidst the boom in IT and e-services globally, modern banking products and services like e-banking and mobile banking are thriving and expected to become the main trend in next several years. 

More than 30 banks joined this market in Vietnam as of 2014, a rise from 19 in 2012, IDG ASEAN said, noting clients’ growing preference for such products and services, from a negligible percentage in 2013 to 12 percent of the respondents in 2015. 

Though local banks still dominate the retail banking market, they are encountering fierce competition from foreign owned rivals which have a competitive edge in terms of client-focused policies and simplified procedures, the group noted. 

At the forum, participants highlighted the example of Vietcombank, which has kept up with the retail banking development trend. It was recently awarded the 2015 Best Retail Bank by the IDG and the Vietnam Banks Association.-VNA