Techcombank has been named best bank in Viet Nam for 2010 by the British financial publication Euromoney. Viet Nam News reporter Phuong Hoa spoke to Techcombank general director Nguyen Duc Vinh about the honour, the domestic financial market, and the bank's plans for development.
Why did Techcombank win this award?
Techcombank won because it achieved the criteria set by Euromoney, including volume of transactions, innovation and leadership, credit ratings, quality of assets and earnings, efficiency ratios and key performance indicators.
We have also made great efforts to professionalise operations by building up a solid foundation in technology, processes and human resources.
The award is a valuable gift but also puts more pressure on us. We will continue to invest more intensively and extensively in technology to narrow the gap with regional and global banks.
What is the potential for development of the financial and banking market?
The financial and banking sector has great potential for development. Our economy has integrated into the global market, and the gap between foreign and domestic banks is narrowing quickly. There is also no great difference between leading domestic banks and smaller ones. Every bank has opportunities to develop with good strategies.
Banks are paying greater attention to technological trends. When there is little difference in terms of structure, profits and interest rates, technology is considered a key factor in the race among banks to attract customers. Technology helps banks automate processes and raise operational efficiency, as well as create new products and services. The modernisation of technology will help banks increase their revenues from hi-tech products and services rather than traditional ones.
How are Vietnamese banks weaker than their international competitors? What should domestic banks do to promote their advantages on the home market?
Overseas banks bring professional operating models with world-class standards into Viet Nam. They are the models to which Vietnamese banks refer and which they follow. They have the capacity to serve high-class customers, forcing local banks to make greater efforts to compete. But domestic banks still have certain advantages, including deeper knowledge of the market, lower costs, and a wider branch network. These are significant factors to generate sustainable development for domestic banks.
In the era following the financial crisis, risk management is key for financial institutions. What are your risk management systems?
Techcombank has been making bold investment in risk management systems to bring them on a par with world-class standards. We have built up central credit approval systems, automated processes and applied early warning systems for bad debts. In addition, we also set up an independent department to co-ordinate with other departments to assess and supervise risks in a bid to control credit risks as well as provide better and faster services to clients.
What are Techcombank's strategies for future development?
Techcombank has grown from its establishment 17 years ago to an institution with total assets of nearly VND108 trillion (US$5.6 billion) and a million individual and organisational customers. We have 230 branches and transaction offices in 40 provinces and cities and expected this to rise to about 300 branches and offices.
In the future, competition among banks will concentrate on management capacity and mastering technologies – on intensive rather than extensive development. — VNS