Improve access to banking services, SBV urges

Thursday, Nov 03, 2016 08:41

Transactions in progress at a VPBank branch. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) Nguyen Kim Anh has asked the banking sector to enhance efforts to improve access to banking services for the economy.

The online conference, which was held yesterday, aims to seek measures to implement the Prime Minister's Decision 1726/QD-TTg, dated September 5, on the project to enhance access to banking services for the economy (project 1726).

According to Pham Xuan Hoe, deputy director of the Banking Strategy Institute, the banking sector still faced a number of hurdles.

The burden of providing capital for the economy was mainly on the shoulders of the banking system, which must be shared by the securities and insurance markets, Hoe said.

In addition, the ratio of non-credit service charges remained modest and access to banking services for residents and enterprises remained uneven across regions and business scales.

The banking sector must expand its network, diversify services, improve quality and ease access, especially for residents and enterprises in remote areas, in line with project 1726, experts said.

The project targets that the 70 per cent of the adult population will have bank accounts by 2020 and the banking network will expand so that there are at least 20 bank branches per 100,000 adults and some 15 per cent of branches will be located in the rural areas.

By 2020, there will be 30,000 ATMs nationwide (or 40 booths per 100,000 adults) and 300,000 points of sale (POS) (400 POS per 100,000 adults).

Notably, under the project, some 50-60 per cent of existing small and medium-sized enterprises could access banking credit.

"A number of measures must be implemented in three phases, including increasing services types and qualities, distribution network and the frequency of using services," Pham Duc Tuan, deputy director of Agribank, said.

Kim Anh at the conference asked commercial banks to develop detailed plans to successfully implement project 1726.

The central bank's statistics show that the banking sector currently has more than 9,780 branches across the country, nearly 17,000 ATMs and more than 222,800 POSs. More than 60 credit institutions provide internet banking and 35 provide mobile banking services, till date.

The number of personal banking accounts soared rapidly to 36.77 million in 2015, 15 times higher than 2004. — VNS

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