According to the leading board of the SBV, this is the opportunity for commercial banks to affirm their brands, financial capacity, as well as the companion and sympathy towards businesses and the community. It is the moment for them to demonstrate their responsibility towards the society, the citizen, and the economy.
In order to share the difficulties of enterprises and the citizens caused by the nCoV virus, on 4th February 2020, the Governor issued the document no. 541/NHNN-TD directing the whole system to come up with solutions to support the people and the businesses affected by the nCoV. On the morning of 6th February 2020, in Hanoi, the SBV has held a meeting with commercial banks to implement specific measures such as coordinating damage calculation to have appropriate credit plans, especially for industries that are being directly affected.
The Governor asked SBV departments, units, and branches to actively capture the situation to timely analyze and evaluate it; to forecast its impact and propose short-, medium- and long-term solutions, and to timely advise the Board of Directors to take measures for direction. He also asked the functional departments of the State Bank to research and direct commercial banks to restructure debts, transfer debts, reschedule, etc. to support businesses; to actively research in the earliest time to come up with a separate mechanism for the affected subjects; to avoid taking advantage of the situation to distort the credit market and to create bad debt.
Commercial banks could make use of several methods including debt restructuring, outstanding loans, repayment period restructuring, interest rates reduction consideration, giving new loans to suffering customers so they can have new business conditions.
Regarding interest rates, currently, there is no specific one. The SBV encourages commercials banks on reducing interest rates for subjects being severely affected by the epidemic (except for prioritized fields that are receiving the loan interest rate of 6%/year). “This is also a chance for commercial banks to affirm their brands and financial capacity, as well as the companion and sympathy towards businesses and the community. It is the moment for us to demonstrate their responsibility towards the society, the citizen, and the economy” – he said.
He also asked commercial banks to ensure the strict implementation of the lending interest rate for priority areas in accordance with regulations and the right subjects; to continue to reform administrative procedures and to increase cashless payments.
According to the Deputy Governor, the SBV is ready to support liquidity for commercial banks. At the same time, the Deputy Governor emphasized “In the current abundant liquidity, banks do not lack capital, therefore commercial banks are not allowed to raise interest rates, including deposit rates. If necessary, the SBV will also adjust the operating interest rate, thereby indirectly supporting commercial banks to reduce interest rates and support businesses.”
At the conference, the commercial banks said that they were proactive in analyzing the situation, reviewing and assessing difficulties of affected businesses and fields, developing coping scenarios, and having specific solutions such as debt restructuring, delaying changing the debt group, debt postponement, and rescheduling, interest rates reductions, etc. to help support businesses and people. Representatives of some commercial banks said that at that moment, up to 50% of Vietnamese goods had been affected by this disease, of which over 15% would be seriously affected if the epidemic was prolonged.
According to Mr. Tran Van Tan, a member of the Board of Directors of VietinBank, the bank has issued a preliminary assessment of the epidemic damage to the economy and sent it to branches nationwide and also instructed branches to revise the specific information when there are new developments, etc. Currently, VietinBank is drafting a document with specific measures for sectors affected by the nCoV epidemic. The bank also has specific solutions to meet the capital needs of the production and business sectors. In addition to the priority fields of applying interest rate of 6% / year, VietinBank offers a lending program with some other areas with interest rates of 6.8% / year, etc.
According to Mr. Nguyen Canh Vinh, Acting General Director of Eximbank, the bank is also well prepared before the complicated situation of the disease, resulting in their deposit mobilization being higher than lending, and the liquidity is quite sustainable. The bank is expected to offer preferential lending packages at around 6.5% per year. Vietcombank General Director Mr. Pham Quang Dung also said that the bank could not be subjective to the impact of the disease, so there were plans, reviews, customer reviews, and solutions to remove difficulties for businesses such as debt restructuring, loan term structuring, and interest rate incentive program to support customers affected by nCoV.
At the conference, all commercial banks expressed their high sense of responsibility to the business community and the people facing difficulties due to the epidemic and said they would seriously implement the guidance and directions of the State Bank. At the same time, some commercial banks also asked the SBV to report to the Prime Minister to have a specific mechanism for the group of affected customers.
Mr. Pham Van Vuong, Deputy General Director of Agribank shared, Agribank was focusing on solutions to prevent epidemics, with specific impact assessment, forecasting analysis of regions, focal businesses, and small customers to have appropriate and timely support policies and to consider reducing interest rates. In fact, Agribank lends mainly in agriculture with an interest rate of about 6% / year. Therefore, when agricultural businesses and farmers are facing difficulties, the burden on Agribank is also severe.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lien Viet Post, Huynh Ngoc Huy, affirmed that as soon as they are directed and instructed by the State Bank, LienViet Post Bank would strictly implement those directions and guidance with a high sense of responsibility.
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