Banking sector vows adequate capital to keep economy going

The banking sector will ensure adequate capital to keep the economy going, according to an official from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which is taking heavy toll on the economy.

Commercial banks in Vietnam have adopted measures to aid enterprises hurt by the epidemic, said Nguyen Quoc Hung, director of the SBV’s Credit Department.

An estimated 44,000 affected firms and individuals, who had taken out total loans of 222 trillion VND (9.6 bilion USD), have benefited from various credit initiatives, ranging from interest rate cuts and loan repayment delays to reduction of fees, he added.

Some 32 out of 45 member banks of the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) have announced fee waivers and reductions for online inter-bank transactions valued less than 500,000 VND as part of efforts to promote cashless payment and reduce risk of transmission after the World Health Organisation advised people to stop using cash if possible as the notes may help spread the virus.

The central bank last weekend has urged banks to further cut fees for inter-bank transactions worth over 500,000 VND to 2 million VND from March 25 until the end of this year.

The SBV official said earlier this month, Vietnamese commerical banks pledged to offer a credit package worth 285 trillion VND (12.3 billion USD) to support affected businesses, offering 0.5 – 1 percent cut in interest rates.

There are more similar ones to come in the future, he added.

SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu said to strengthen the commerical banks’ financial capacity, the central bank will soon make a decision on cutting benchmark interest rates as well refinance rates, overnight rates and open-market rates.

It made the last benchmark rate cut by 0.25 percentage points in September last year.

Source: Vietnam News Agency