VCB Ninh Thuan: Harnessing Corporate Culture and Employee Engagement as Catalysts for Growth

7:58:10 PM | 5/28/2024

Over its 13 years of development, Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam - Ninh Thuan Branch (VCB Ninh Thuan) has not only solidified its brand’s credit reputation but also consistently spearheaded initiatives in social security and community wellbeing. The bank has placed significant emphasis on enhancing quality of life for its employees and fostering a robust corporate culture. Our reporter had an interview with Mr. Dinh Viet Chau, Deputy Director of VCB Ninh Thuan.

How have the credit activities of VCB Ninh Thuan progressed so far this year, and what are the key strategies that VCB Ninh Thuan will implement to achieve its 2024 objectives?

As of the first quarter of 2024, VCB Ninh Thuan’s outstanding loans amounted to VND5,161 million, marking an increase of VND142 billion from the end of 2023. Retail credit constituted 71% of the total outstanding loans, while business credit accounted for nearly 73%.

In order to successfully accomplish its 2024 objectives, VCB Ninh Thuan is focusing on the expansion of its credit business and corporate customer base, particularly in key and supporting industries such as tourism, high-tech agricultural development, agricultural production and processing, salt, cashew, food, trade and services.

To better serve its customers, VCB Ninh Thuan is prioritizing the reduction of appraisal time and application procedures, while still ensuring the safety and legality of loans. The branch is also introducing competitive interest rate lending programs that are effective, along with the development and utilization of associated products and services. It is expanding its customer base to target potential young customers and introduce them to digital experiences and interactions. Simultaneously, it is building accessible customer data by taking good care of existing customers and maximizing their potential; customers related to existing customers such as partners and suppliers; outstanding business households and companies named at conferences, seminars, and economic promotion programs of the province; customers with regular deposit transactions and a high amount of demand deposits at the branch. The branch is collaborating and exploiting the wholesale customer segment to create a list of chain-based customers, tax-paying customers, or business households with high regular electricity and water expenses.

Global economic downturn has had considerable impact on the Vietnamese economy and the banking and finance industry in particular. In that context, does VCB Ninh Thuan have any solutions to control credit quality and avoid bad debts?

In the first quarter of 2024, the bad debt ratio at VCB Ninh Thuan was 0.4% and the Category 2 debt ratio was 0.4%. This result came from the branch's good management of input quality: Enhancing the appraising capabilities of credit officers, controlling loan quality from the beginning, checking declared lending demands with real purposes of customers.

In addition, we regularly review, assess, monitor and check customers and the quality of secured assets. For customers with financial weakening and customers with potential risks, the branch needs to take drastic measures to reduce outstanding debt and supplement collaterals. It strictly controls the quality of its credit portfolio, conducts quarterly review, evaluation and classification of each customer group and takes appropriate behavioral measures.

VCB Ninh Thuan demonstrates its commitment to social welfare by providing health insurance cards to students facing challenges at Lap La Primary School in Ninh Son District

In the current slowdown context, what specific efforts has VCB Ninh Thuan made to support corporate customers to overcome difficulties?

In addition to carrying out policies of the Government and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) on reducing lending interest rates from the beginning of 2024 (three rate cuts introduced), VCB Ninh Thuan focused on improving suitable financial solution consultancy for each customer and prioritizes key areas, with credit channeled into manufacturing fields.

To support companies to overcome hardships as general policies, VCB Ninh Thuan also applied preferential programs with interest rates of 5.5-7% per annum for short-term loans (credit size: VND100 trillion) and 6-8% per annum for medium and long-term loans (no credit size). Especially in April 2024, executing VCB's interest reduction program to support and foster economic growth in 2023, VCB Ninh Thuan has simultaneously reduced interest rates by 0.5%/year from April 1, 2024 to June 30, 2024 on outstanding loans of nearly VND2,000 billion for corporate customers.

In addition to bolstering business performance, VCB Ninh Thuan is reportedly deeply committed to social security, the cultivation of corporate culture, and the enhancement of employee welfare. Could you elaborate on these aspects?

Over 13 years of operation, VCB Ninh Thuan has been an active participant in social security initiatives, particularly in the realms of education and healthcare. The bank has made significant contributions towards poverty reduction and the improvement of the material and spiritual lives of the local populace. Notable initiatives include a VND10 billion sponsorship for the construction of 15 new classrooms for Vinh Thuan Primary School in Phuoc Dan town, Ninh Phuoc district in 2016-2017; the donation of 100 breeding cows, valued at a total of VND1.5 billion, to impoverished families in Bac Ai district in 2016; a VND3 billion contribution toward the construction of Bac Son Kindergarten in 2015; funding for the procurement of medical equipment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic; and the sponsorship of two dialysis machines for Ninh Thuan General Hospital. Furthermore, the branch has participated in programs such as lifelong care for Vietnamese heroic mothers, support for policy-benefiting families and impoverished individuals, scholarships and gifts for academically outstanding students from low-income backgrounds, and relief efforts for individuals affected by natural disasters, storms, and floods.

VCB Ninh Thuan places great emphasis on its employees, viewing them as an important component of the organization and deserving of the best welfare policies. As such, the branch is dedicated to improving the quality of life for its employees. Each year, VCB Ninh Thuan arranges for periodic health check-ups at reputable hospitals and clinics and leads the way in vaccinating employees against COVID-19. On a monthly basis, the branch provides rice support for employees, recognizes the academic achievements of their children, and organizes recreational activities such as drawing, swimming, and badminton classes for their children.

VCB Ninh Thuan also regularly conducts practical in-house training sessions for employees to enhance their knowledge and skills, and implements salary and bonus regimes in a serious and transparent manner, particularly for employees who demonstrate excellent performance, creativity, and contributions to work reforms. Each year, the branch organizes vacation tours and year-end parties to express gratitude to the relatives of employees, practically caring for their material and spiritual well-being and ensuring they feel secure at work.

Lastly, VCB Ninh Thuan is steadfast in its efforts to build its core business values, construct and embody the cultural identity values of Vietcombank, namely “Trust - Standard - Newness - Durability - Humanity”, to meet the requirements of integration and development. The establishment of a sustainable corporate culture not only enables VCB Ninh Thuan to mature and grow stronger over time, but also fosters greater trust among customers. Once customers place their trust in the bank, they are more likely to entrust their financial assets to VCB Ninh Thuan, thereby attracting more customers to the branch.

Thank you very much!

By Cong Luan, Vietnam Business Forum