An HDBank office in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of HDBank

The move followed a request from the central bank to promptly resolve problems relating to loan extension, reduction of loan interest rates, and debt restructuring for affected businesses.

The State Bank has set up three inspection teams led by deputy directors to review the situation at commercial banks.

It has also responded to the Department of Tourism’s concerns about businesses that are having difficulty in accessing support packages from commercial banks.

To Duy Lam, director of the SBV HCM City branch, said after receiving the list of tourism businesses affected by COVID-19 sent by the Department of Tourism, the State Bank asked local commercial banks to respond according to the central bank’s guidance.

The State Bank said it had received lists of businesses and industries affected by the pandemic from various authorised agencies, but processing had taken time during the social distancing period.

In addition, it said the Department of Tourism had “failed to provide sufficient information as requested” regarding the affected businesses, causing delays in processing the information.

It asked the agencies, especially the Department of Tourism, to analyse causes of the problems faced by enterprises.

 

“If problems arise due to businesses’ bad debts, improper use of capital, ineffective business plans, or failure to meet credit regulations, enterprises will not be eligible for the loans,” the SBV HCM City representative said.

“Lending to unqualified borrowers would violate the law and increase bad debts, causing serious consequences for both commercial banks and the whole economy,” he said.

According to the Department of Tourism, it had sent a list of more than 30 businesses affected by the pandemic to the city’s SBV branch as of the end of March, but businesses have yet to receive measures or support packages from the commercial banks.

At a recent meeting on credit measures to support affected businesses, Dao Minh Tu, deputy governor of the SBV, said the outbreak has badly affected manufacturing and business operations, especially tourism, logistics, import-export, and agricultural production.

Tu urged the commercial banks to monitor businesses’ performance as well as the damages experienced by the borrowers to quickly apply support measures, including payment rescheduling and lower interest rates.

The SBV has also asked credit institutions to promote lendings, especially to priority firms such as agricultural businesses, firms producing goods for export, small- and medium-sized enterprises, enterprises in support industries, and hi-tech enterprises, including start-ups. — VNS

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