SBV to review capital rules

The State Bank of Viet Nam will review new strict capital adequacy requirements imposed on commercial banks by Circular No 13, following an outcry from the banking sector and a directive from the Government.

The announcement late Wednesday helped boost shares on the nation’s stock market yesterday, Sept 9.

The review and analysis of Circular No 13 would aim to address shortcomings in various risk management provisions, including the imposition of stricter capital adequacy ratios, the State Bank said.

A deadline for conclusion of the review was not disclosed. However, last month, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered the State Bank to review the circular and report its findings and possible solutions before the new regulations were scheduled to take effect on October 1.

Circular No 13 would require commercial banks to increase their capital adequacy ratios from 8 to 9 per cent, as well as impose other risk management measures.

For instance, the circular would restrict banks from lending out funds from non-term deposits made by the State or State entities, the social insurance fund or commercial lending organisations.

According to media reports, many commercial banks and the Viet Nam Banking Association complained that this last provision would require commercial banks to leave idle as much as 35 per cent of deposited funds. They urged the central bank to extend the deadline for complying with the circular in order to give banks more time to restructure investment portfolios.

Fiachra Mac Cana, managing director of the research department of HCM Securities Co, predicted that the review would not result in any significant changes to the requirements but would allow banks more time to comply and adjust loan and capital ratios.

A central bank official who asked to remain unnamed told Viet Nam News yesterday that Circular No 13 was indeed the opening salvo of what would be an ongoing programme of stricter risk management measures to be imposed on the nation’s banking system.

Many economists, the official noted, have complained that the capital adequacy ratios in Circular No 13 were still too low to adequately guard against risk. The newly passed Law on Credit Institutions to take effect in January includes provisions stricter than those in Circular No 13, he noted, but still short of the Basel standards for finance and banking.

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