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Banks remain reluctant in disclosing interest rates
Vietnam News - 3/14/2024 3:16:46 PM
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 It's neither beneficial nor possible at times for commercial banks to make their interest rates public, as instructed in Government Directive No. 18 dated March 5, said industry experts and insiders.
Many commercial banks, including Vietcombank, VietinBank, Agribank, BIDV, Techcombank, An Binh, OCB, ACB, LPBank and VPBank, have not publicly listed interest rates but only those for each saving period.
CEO of OCB Nguyễn Đình Tùng said OCB has been working around the clock to find a method to publicise the bank's interest rates. 
"It is not a problem for us to announce our average rates to the public but it is problematic to say precisely at what rates a group of customers are eligible for. This, however, was a directive from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) so we have been working out a way to make it possible," he said. 
Industry insiders said interest rates depend on risk factors, and banks generally grant loans to customers considered as high-risk at higher rates while those considered as low-risk will be offered loans at lower rates. It is difficult to make public a figure that can apply to all customers. 
LPBank's CEO Hồ Nam Tiến added: "Publicly announcing the average interest rate should only apply to short-term loans because the difference between the input interest rate and the short-term loan interest rate is not significant.
"If the average interest rate for medium and long-term loans is announced, we will face reactions from existing borrowers.
"It is only possible to announce the rates for short-term loans but we will likely face strong reactions from existing borrowers if we disclose our rates for medium and long-term loans."
Vietcombank's CEO Nguyễn Thanh Tùng said there are numerous factors used to calculate interest rates for clients, including benefits of capital mobilization, products and services, cash flow and credit rating.
"It is more suitable to announce interest rates for individual customers, but for businesses and organisations, it is very complex," he said. 
In response to the bank's concerns, the deputy governor of the SBV Đào Minh Tú said the central bank doesn't have plans to penalise commercial banks that failed to disclose their interest rates to the public. 
However, the central bank aims to protect the rights of borrowers and promote a more competitive environment among commercial banks in the country. For example, borrowers may choose to switch to using banks with lower interest rates if they were made public information. 
"For now, if they don't comply, there is no official sanction, but they should become more aware of public opinion," he said.
Võ Minh, head of the SBV's Đà Nẵng Office, said instead of commercial banks publicly disclosing average interest rates based on monthly reports, the SBV can publicly disclose the average loan interest rates of each commercial bank or the overall average of the credit institutions system.
Phạm Như Ánh, CEO of MB Bank, said: "It is more beneficial to separately list the average interest rates for short-term, medium-term, and long-term periods, the average interest rates for individual customers, and the average interest rates for business customers.
"This way, the disclosed information will be broader, and more comprehensive, and borrowers can easily determine the appropriate interest rate to participate." VNS
Read original article here
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