RoK bank launches wholly foreign-owned bank in VN hinh anh 1Woori Bank launched a ceremony to officially set up the wholly foreign-owned bank in Viet Nam. (Source: Woori Bank)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Republic of Korea’s Woori Bank recently held a ceremony to officially set up the wholly foreign-owned bank in Vietnam.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, the bank’s representatives said with the launch, Woori Bank will boost the retail business and target becoming the top foreign credit bank in the Vietnamese market.

As planned, the bank will expand its sales network by establishing transaction offices in Bac Ninh province and Hai Phong city in the north, and the southern provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong within this year. Woori Bank has been operating transaction offices in Hanoi and HCM City since 1997 and 2005, respectively.

The bank will subsequently add 5-7 transaction more offices each year to expand its network to 20 branches across the country. It is also working with Woori Card to enter the Vietnamese credit card market in the first half of 2017.

Besides this, to expand the local customer base, it plans to connect various deposit and loan products, including mortgage, credit loan and bank assurance, offering comprehensive financial services to Vietnamese customers.

Founded in 1899 in Seoul, Woori Bank is one of the leading investment banks in Asia and the largest lender by assets in the Republic of Korea. It has been running businesses in the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Finland and Germany. Notably, it has also expanded the “New Asia Credit System,” which is focusing on Southeast Asia, thus aiming to be among Asia’s top 10 and global top 50 financial institutions.

Vietnam, currently, has six wholly foreign-owned banks. They are HSBC Vietnam, ANZ Vietnam, Standard Chartered Vietnam and Hong Leong Vietnam, as well as Shinhan Vietnam and Public Bank Berhad.

According to experts, more foreign banks are expected to enter Vietnam’s market, especially following the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community late last year.

They recommend that Vietnamese banks must operate on a larger scale, with huge investments in technology and products through consolidations and mergers to create better and stronger banks that can compete with foreign banks.

By 2020, in accordance with the commitment to the World Trade Organisation, Vietnam will have to completely open the door of its banking sector.-VNA