Credit growth bright spot for banking
The State Bank of Vietnam organises a sector-wide online conference on promoting bank credit growth for the year on June 19. (Photo courtesy of SBV)

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said at a sector-wide online conference on promoting bank credit growth for the year on June 19 that challenges still abound in promoting credit growth in the banking industry heading into the third quarter.

The bank has recently issued a document directing a number of solutions on credit and interest rates, requiring implementation of solutions and striving to achieve a credit growth rate of 5-65 by the end of the second quarter this year.

Statistics show that in the first quarter of this year, seven out of 27 banks recorded negative credit growth, including some large banks.

But there are still many banks with a credit growth rate that is much higher than the industry average, such as LPBank, Techcombank, HDBank and MSB.

These banks are also showing good profits compared to the industry average.

Each bank has different strategies and competitive advantages to exploit market opportunities.

LPBank recorded the strongest credit increase of over 12%, while Techcombank grew by more than 7% and HDBank by 6.2%. MSB's credit growth increased by more than 5.6%.

For the banking industry, the rate of growth or the scale of credit expansion alone does not tell the whole story. Growth must be efficient, sustainable and stable to ensure prosperity for the bank not only in the present but also in the future.

A HDBank representative stated that early risk management policies have been implemented, helping the bank to mitigate adverse external impacts and ensure the maintenance of a stable and flexible operational framework.

The bank tops the industry in profitability, with a return on equity (ROE) reaching 26.7%.

Continuous improvements in operational safety ratios also provide shareholders and investors with peace of mind amid numerous challenges.

Meanwhile, promoting digitalisation and optimising processes and operating costs are also key to improving the bank's operational efficiency over the past few years.

At HDBank, high growth targets and industry-leading ROE come with a strong optimisation of the Cost-to-Income Ratio (CIR), from 39.3% in 2022 to only 31.7% in the first quarter of this year.

At other banks like Techcombank, VPBank or especially at large network-operating banks like VietinBank, the CIR has also shown significant improvements in recent years, approaching around 30%.

This is considered optimal for banks effectively making a digital transformation in the region.

Besides strictly controlling risks and enhancing operational safety, strong digitalisation and optimisation of performance and operational efficiency are also necessary factors for sustainable growth goals among Vietnamese banks.

According to the central bank’s representatives at the conference, with drastic actions by the Government, the Prime Minister and ministries in improving the business environment and coordinating to solve problems for businesses and people, credit growth is expected to increase in the last months of the year.

This forecast shows that the bright spots in the Vietnamese banking industry in enhancing efficiency and maintaining sustainable growth will likely continue./.