Vietnam's best bank for SMEs 2018: VietinBank
This may well be the toughest award to win in Vietnam. Over the last decade, the government has focused its attention on the country’s army of small and medium-sized enterprises, reckoned by the Credit Information Centre to number 500,000. Banks are tacitly encouraged to lend to them and to offer preferential rates to borrowers.
This award garnered more interest than any other – underlining the importance of being, and of being seen to be, the best onshore SME lender.
But there can be only one winner, and this year the award goes to VietinBank, led by chief executive Le Duc Tho, which banks 186,000 smaller enterprises, or 37% of the nation’s total, according to director of SME lending Nguyen Thu Hang. Total outstanding loans to smaller corporates came in at D207.2 trillion ($8.9 billion) at the end of May, up 30.2% over the previous year, with total mobilised SME funding rising 35.2% over the same period, to D84.5 trillion.
New services that cater to the needs of smaller corporates include fixed-rate loans, a companion scheme that offers preferential lending and deposit rates to firms that use VietinBank as their primary lender, and credit insurance that protects SMEs from delinquency.
Another new scheme, VietinBank SME Club, launched in July 2017, offers a suite of VIP services to 800 elite SMEs – targeted firms with the talent, drive and ambition to become larger, influential corporates in their own right – including incentive programmes, professional training programmes, seminars and conferences.
Hang points to the increasingly international focus of the bank’s best SME clients. “We’re working with them in markets like Laos, Myanmar and Germany,” she says. “We outperform every other bank in this category.”