Vietnam still allows foreigners to deposit at local banks

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-16 15:00:37|Editor: xuxin
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HANOI, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Resident and non-resident foreigners in Vietnam are still permitted to make term deposits at local banks despite some banks saying they would not accept savings deposits from individual foreign customers, confirmed the State Bank of Vietnam, the country's central bank.

The central bank said there is no change in regulations regarding savings of foreigners at Vietnamese banks, but under the amended Law on Credit Institutions, "term deposits" and "savings deposits" are separate concepts, so it had to issue separate circulars regulating savings deposits and term deposits respectively, local daily newspaper Vietnam News reported on Tuesday.

According to the two circulars, non-resident foreigners and foreigners who reside in Vietnam for six months or more are permitted to make term deposits in Vietnamese dong and foreign currencies at local banks, but the term deposits must have a maturity date not later than the expiry date of their visa or other valid papers determining the duration of their stay in the country, and the extension of the savings term will be negotiated between credit institutions and clients.

Now, interest rates for Vietnamese dong-denominated deposits in Vietnam are 5-8.5 percent per year, compared with the 2.5-percent rate for U.S. dollar-denominated deposits in the United States, said the newspaper.

Vietnam is one of the top 10 destinations in the world for expatriate workers, according to HSBC's recently released Expat 2019 Global Report. Late last year, an HSBC survey also showed that foreign experts in Vietnam could earn an average income of 90,408 U.S. dollars per year, and that 31 percent of expat workers surveyed claimed their income annually increased by 25 percent.

By Dec. 31, 2018, Vietnam had four state-owned commercial banks, 31 domestic commercial joint stock banks, nine foreign-owned banks, and two joint-venture banks, according to the central bank's latest statistics posted on its website.