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A stronger grip on Vietnam’s banking market   2008-07-20 - ThanhNienNews

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) recently announced plans for a new 100 percent-owned bank and at least four new outlets by the end of this year as part of its Vietnamese growth strategy.



Phil Crouch, General Manager Personal Banking Services ANZ Vietnam, talked to Thanh Nien Daily about this milestone.

Thanh Nien: Some foreign banks in Vietnam are still waiting for licenses for their planned 100 percent-owned banks, in line of Vietnam’s full WTO membership commitment. Do you see this (in-principle approval) as a breakthrough for ANZ in the country?

Phil Crouch: ANZ expects to receive the 100 percent foreign-owned bank license in the near future, having already received our approval in principle from the State Bank of Vietnam.

This is the next stage of our development in Vietnam, having been operating here successfully for 15 years.

During this time we have developed an impressive team of local bankers allowing us to have deep local insights.

We look forward to being able to provide our customers with more convenient locations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

We also look forward to continuing our contribution to Vietnam’s banking industry, bringing our global financial strength together with modern and innovative services.

What are the key market segmentations that ANZ will focus on from now to 2010 and what can customers, especially locals, expect from the new products and service quality?

ANZ will continue to focus on providing services to consumers and corporate customers.

In addition, we will add services for Vietnam’s small business sector.

Vietnamese customers can expect outstanding award-winning customer service through both our branch and mobile banking teams.

Our mobile banking managers are a new innovation in Vietnam, providing customers the flexibility to discuss their banking needs wherever, whenever they like.

In addition, customers can access our 24-hour seven-day channels, including our call center (toll free 1800 1559), our extensive ATM network and our internet banking service.

Besides our people strength, ANZ is also proud of our simple processes and products which make us a trusted brand and easy to do business with.

What are the key strategies of ANZ from now to 2010 to compete with rivals such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and local banks?

As mentioned above, ANZ will continue to be famous for its award-winning customer service.

Customers can experience the difference the very first minute they enter any ANZ branch.

At ANZ, all customers are warmly and professionally treated and our staff always strive to understand and fulfill our customers’ needs.

Respect, understanding, optimal products and solutions, simple and convenient processes are how ANZ can win and retain our customers in the long run.

How would you evaluate Vietnam’s economy in the context of the current shortcomings? Is there any change to the role of Vietnam in ANZ’s Asian growth strategy during 2008-2010?

Regardless of the current shortcomings, ANZ remains confident in Vietnam as a long term investment opportunity.

Our assumption is that growth will soften in 2008 in order to allow the inflation rate to be reduced as soon as possible.

The fundamentals remain strong, including growing foreign investment levels.

With respect to the banking market, only 10 percent of the population have bank accounts and the ratio is around 35 percent in big cities such as Hanoi and HCMC.

Customers are increasingly adopting new banking services such as loans and debit cards.

There is no change to the role of Vietnam in ANZ’s Asian growth strategies.

In fact, Vietnam remains a key priority market for ANZ, together with Malaysia and Indonesia.

What is ANZ’s short and long term plan for the Vietnam market, for taking advantage of the retail and institutional banking opportunities in the country?

ANZ plans to increase its distribution via more branches and ATMs to become more convenient for our customers.

In retail banking, we will continue to be a leader in customer service, banking products and electronic banking.

In institutional banking, we will develop more products and services which will be tailored to meet customer needs.

This will include being distinctive in foreign exchange and trade finance, and leveraging our extensive network across Asia Pacific in order to capture a larger share of cross-border trade and investment flows into Vietnam.

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