Vietnam's best bank for SMEs 2017: VPBank
VPBank, formerly Vietnam Prosperity Bank, is the clear and deserved winner of this award. It has been a leader in providing valued services to the country’s growing army of small and medium-sized enterprises since 2013, when a standalone SME division was established with eight dedicated business centres. That division is led by Fung Kai Jin. These days it has 63 such centres, manned by 600 SME-focused staff, helping VPBank to snag 12% of the lending market in 2016.
Trade financing and foreign exchange hedging products tailored to larger SMEs in the import-export business have proven immensely popular, as has its business instalment loan service that targets the long-underserved micro SME segment. Last year, VPBank strengthened that model by expressly focusing on the country’s estimated 400,000 micro SMEs, 70% of which are reckoned to have little or no access to credit. To cater to this vast and financially excluded segment, VPBank invested heavily in its risk infrastructure and data analytics, introducing credit scorecards to improve customer selection and launching an early warning system to pinpoint potential loan defaults early.
In 2016, the revenue it generated from the country’s SME segment increased 40% on an annualized basis, driven by a 35% rise in fee income derived from trade, FX and insurance products. It has set a target for SME-related revenue growth of 45% in 2017, is the unalloyed leader in this category – and appears unlikely to be overtaken any time soon.