The fourth outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 made it harder for Vietcombank Long An to achieve its business targets. However, with the unremitting efforts of all employees, the branch overcame all challenges and closed the year with impressive results.
Supporting businesses to survive the tough times
In the past year, many business targets of Vietcombank Long An were significantly higher than in 2020. Its outstanding loans rose 28% to VND6,300 billion (corporate customers: VND2,600 billion, individual customers: VND3,700 billion); its deposits climbed 5% to VND6,400 billion; its profit reached VND300 billion; and its international payment value amounted at US$540 million. The branch developed 23,000 new E-banking customers and recovered VND46 billion of off-balance-sheet debts. Its credit quality and operational risk were well controlled with a bad debt ratio of 0.1%. It continued to expand the customer network, increase card users, points of sale and customers e-banking service users, aligned with the Government's approach to cashless payment development plan in Vietnam. At a meeting reviewing Vietcombank’s business performance in 2021 and previewing its activities in 2022, Vietcombank Long An was honored to be one of the 25 best-performing branches.
Dr. Doan Thai Son, Director of Vietcombank Long An, said 2021 witnessed a tough fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with the 4th outbreak spreading to many provinces and cities across the country, especially southern localities, leading to contracting business performance and incomes of customers. This adversity posed serious challenges to the bank’s operations and affected the chance to complete its business goals. In that context, Vietcombank Long An defined that supporting businesses would salvage both the bank and its customers to live through difficulties and challenges together. That was also a reason why the branch always placed customer support on top.
As soon as the pandemic started to affect customers' business activities, Vietcombank Long An actively worked with them to introduce solutions to provide timely assistance for them as guided by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and Vietcombank, as well as their local characteristics. At the same time, the branch always closely monitored the COVID-19 impacts on customers' operations, developing support plans to appropriately and promptly handle emerging issues in compliance with SBV’s and Vietcombank’s regulations.
In addition to interest, fee and debt structure, Vietcombank Long An provided many other suitable support forms for customers like extending maturity terms for new loans due to working capital turnover caused by COVID-19. During the year, the branch reduced interest rates five times on total outstanding loans of VND3,300 billion; and did not change debt groups of borrowers as per Circular 01 for two corporate customers with a total structured loan balance of VND42 billion and five individual customers with a total structured loan balance of VND7 billion. The branch lent VND19,000 billion to 3,047 customers to restore business operations. “Despite numerous difficulties, Vietcombank Long An always ensured continuous operation in the new context and provided highest-quality services for customers. Promotion programs were also kept to motivate employees to further raise service quality and enhance customer satisfaction, he noted.
Unlocking opportunities from FDI customers
Besides retail banking, developing FDI customers is also a key business mission of Vietcombank Long An because this is the segment that always brings the highest benefits and boosts its income.
The complicated and contagious pandemic in most investment partners weakened Vietnam's FDI inflows and hurt the country's imports and exports, including Long An province. Facing this reality, Vietcombank Long An implemented many consistent solutions to expand the FDI customer base. Specifically, in 2021, the branch, the Vietcombank FDI Customer Department and the Taiwan Business Association in Long An opened a workshop attended by KPMG's representatives. The event aligned relations of concerned parties, facilitated understanding and information, and exchanged investment opportunities. In order to have an effective and appropriate care policy, Vietcombank Long An categorized customers by country, size, industry, location and other parameters and developed working programs and plans, and took care of specific customers. The FDI Customer Department also supported and linked Vietcombank Long An with FDI in business negotiation for the greater success of Vietcombank.
In 2022, to anticipate the wave of investment shift into Vietnam, Vietcombank Long An will further focus on developing new FDI customers, increasing the share of FDI deposits, raising the share of noncredit services, chain sales, cross-sale products and services. The branch will effectively sell more products and services to FDI customers, thus making more positive and effective contributions to the operation of Vietcombank system, as well as local socioeconomic development and investment inflows.
In 2021, in addition to contributing to the Vaccine Fund and the COVID-19 Prevention Support Fund of Long An province and Ben Luc district, Vietcombank Long An also encouraged its customers to donate to the Vaccine Fund through their accounts at Vietcombank and raised VND1.5 billion. Customers participating in the program were entitled to an interest rate reduction at Vietcombank Long An until the end of December 31, 2021.
Vietcombank also sponsored two projects in Long An province: Nguyen Van Dinh Primary School (VND5 billion) and Chau Van Liem Relief (VND13 billion). Vietcombank Long An annually donates VND1 billion for social security funds for the poor and policy-beneficiary families
By Cong Luan, Vietnam Business Forum