I currently have a U.S. Dollar Savings Account with CBA. I just learned that CBA HCMC interest are being merged with Vietnam International Bank (VIB) HCM at the end of July 2017.

Is anyone in a similar situation? Does anyone have insight into any risks that my result from a CBA and VIB merger?

I appreciate any feed back you may have.

Kind Regards

From what I've read it's not a merger, the CBA are pulling out of  Vietnam and selling the "business" to VIB.    The foreign banks are pulling out of here. The ANZ is going and HSBC are going as well.

The "newspapers " here say they can't compete with the vIetnamese banks😆😆.    The truth of the matter is banks make the bulk of their money by lending & the income stream that the interest generates on the loans.    But you only get that income if the loans are repaid🤓

VN banks are riddled with NPLs ,non performing loans.

There's are reason this place has a credit rating BBB- which is close to about as bad as you can get.  It's shit.     ANZ & CBA are based in Australia that has AAA credit rating, the highest.   

That is a worry, when the western banks start pulling out.  The multinationals are already gearing up for that with " Industry 4" just around the corner.    They are ONLY here for the cheap UNSKILLED labour.   With Robotics taking over the tedious,mundane assembly work that is done here , it won't be long before VN have nothing else to bring to the table.   And there are a lot of worried people in the "party" here that are slowly getting their heads around it.

There are reports of flight of capital out of here by the wealthy. The smarties can see what's going to happen.   Ive also read there's been a decline in the level of remittances coming in from OSea Vietnamese. They must smell something in the wind.   

I suppose when the foreign banks are getting out,,,  the wealthy VN are getting their money out,,,, and the ones that have got out are now sending less back's something to think about huh....

As for putting substantial money in banks here......I'd tread carefully.

If what you are saying is true about the VN Banks, why am I still getting 7.5% return on my deposits??  If they are riddled with NPL's, they can't be making any money, how are they able to keep the interest rate on deposits.  (Source Please) Yeah, I know the rates have been going down bit by bit for about 2 years now,   when I first deposited, it was 12%

7.5% is pretty good today,,,,,    when I got here it was 18% , and I know guys that were getting 20+ before that.    The good ole days😆

I used to work in the financial industry and still dabble , but wouldn't "punt"too much in a bank account here.   They can cover depositor interest since there's still enough revenue from their operations , but the NPLs are a big worry because it appears no one is game to reveal the true figures.  They formed the VAMC, vietnam asset management corporation and offloaded a lot of the bad debts into,  to make the balance sheets look in better shape.   

There's a lot of half finished 30 & 40 story blocks of crumbling concrete that the banks financed and the dodgy developers cleared out.  The funny thing is... the bank guy that financed it would have got a kick back $$$ as well.   There's a long list of shonky bank guys getting life here at the moment along with a lot of SOE  chiefs.  These guys can't keep there sticky little fingers out of the till. 😆😆
Just about every day here you read about another CEO or high ranking official getting locked up.   Yogi reckons if you want to hang out with the  "hob nobs" of society here , prisons would the place to be.🤓

Personally I wouldn't put too much in a bank here.  There's a reason the smart VN are getting there cash out of the country....especially lately.    The Industy super funds in Oz at the moment are paying up to 12.8% , averaged about 9% for the last few years.    It all comes down to your own personal situation and level of risk.

Yogi reckons the best option is to spend the fuckin stuff,  do something nice with it because ya never know what's around the next corner.   

Speaking of that....I might go and put a couple of new tyres on the "wave" .


I haven't heard that HSBC are pulling out of Vn. I did hear that they are selling their stake in Techcombank - from June this year - and getting rid of their insurance business in Vn.

eodmatt :

I haven't heard that HSBC are pulling out of Vn. I did hear that they are selling their stake in Techcombank - from June this year - and getting rid of their insurance business in Vn.

Hi Matt,
Yep ,  an article in yesterday's TT "news" for what it's worth.
They've sold to Techcombank.   The Aussie mobs, CBA & ANZ are pulling up stumps as well.

The journo reckonedthe foreign banks can't compete with the VN banks and don't understand the "way" the Vietnamese like to do business. 😆

There's a lot of concern about how "Industry 4 " will hit Vietnam, given that the multi nationals are only here for the low cost unskilled labour.  That won't be needed soon.    Samsung won't be having their phones assembled here forever, Adidas already have robotics plants in Germany and the US spitting out shoes a lot cheaper than they make them here.  Vietnam has 1.3. Million people gluing shoes together in sweat shops.   

There was an article in the local press stating that VN will eventually have 3 million people making shoes by 2025 ???   They might be making shoes, but they'll only be supplying the local market , who are mainly people earning less than $2000 PA.     The robotic plants will be on the ground in the western markets.    They can make the shoes Monday and be in the shops by the end of the week. 
The Germans reckon they'll be leaving the factories in driverless trucks.😳

Scary stuff. 

I'll tell ya what's scarier..... Dubai are now trialling drone taxis.   😆
You order the Uber drone and just like the Jetsons , this thing appears out of fuckin nowhere and you hop in it , fasten the seat belt and hope for the best.

I wonder who the first guy was that test piloted it.     They probably got some asshole out of prison and said , hey buddy, got a job for you.

Nothing like getting off topic huh..

I bank with HSBC in UK so if they shut down here it wont affect me. Unless of course they also bin their ATM agreements. In which case I will just do electronic transfers to my wife's account here.

It's the mindset of the locals, borrow money but don't pay it back.

My ex-gf who works in the banking industry in an upper management position told me about a very,very wealthy, well known business woman who stopped paying the payments on her property loans.

When asked, her reply was magical....." My properties have decreased in value due to the property slump, therefore I shouldn't have to make payments on property that is not the same value I bought it for."

This woman is an extremely wealthy woman,you really do have to wonder how she has become so successful, my guess is cronyism.


eodmatt :


Khong hieu.

colinoscapee :
eodmatt :


Khong hieu.

Exactly! *

*TVB = Thats Vietnam, Baby

When I was working in Mozambleak, the saying was: "TAB" (usually with a roll of the eyes), every time you met with some ridiculous situation or an intractable official (who usually wanted a bribe). TAB = Thats Africa, Baby!

I have also heard the comment: WTV (Welcome To Vietnam) occasionally from Australian ex-pats.

We had a foreign currency account with CBA Saigon but can't say we did much day to day banking with them because interest rates in VN banks have always been much higher.  And I can't answer your question about that specific 'merger' you mention, and agree with many of the comments about risks in general with VN's banking industry - but think it's maybe worth clarifying that when it's said that foreign banks "can't compete" with VN banks, it's not just because they don't understand the VN mindset that simply doesn't trust banks (because corruption is so endemic that most VNs assume every bank manager will steal their savings), but also (and mainly) because foreign banks are simply not allowed by VN's State Bank to pay the same interest rates as local banks - ask any foreign bank's financial director and he or she will surely tell you the same story, not least because it p*sses them all off!
So as far as your question goes, it's surely worth checking with CBA as to how their mooted "merger" will affect interest rates - maybe with a local partner the 'noose' will be loosened somewhat?  We found the VN manager of CBA Saigon very open in terms of discussing what they can and will be able to offer - she's a very nice person and always available.

I bank with them and went down and had a chat with Van (Van Thi Bich Nguyen) who is a customer services young lady who speaks very good English. I asked her what is going to change and she basically gave me the company line saying that the uniforms will change and the corporate colours inside and outside will change and the ATM décor but the bank will remain at 4B Ton Duc Thang St, D1 (which every sat nav system seems to be unable to locate accurately) and as far as she knows she will remain employed there. Wooo Hooo! She did also add that The Commonwealth Bank of Australia will still have a 20% stake in the Vietnamese mothership and that we will receive (somehow) new cards and will have access to vastly more ATMs than the current 2 (plus some others that we can use if the bank actually has an ATM) such as EXIM bank in Bui Thi Xuan which must be the first bank that I've seen this century that has no ATM!  Maybe the Commonwealth Bank in it's new corporate livery will be open later in the afternoon and on Saturdays now! I have realised however that maybe the new incarnation may adhere more stringently to government regulations so I did intend to bring some more money out of Oz before the end of this month. Other than that we'll have to suck and see. Nothing drastic is going to happen as any agreements that we have between the bank and ourselves will remain the same, initially at any rate. Someone told me that foreign companies suffer from unseen aggravation that we are not aware of though. For instance, the Sheraton Hotel had 15 inspections last year by various government departments supposedly looking for vermin, unwashed bed linen and unlawful massage parlours/brothels operating from within! Needless to say no doubt large sums of money are exchanged to keep them happy and large payments made to the authorities or to the people within! Sometimes it wears the companies down and they just decide that it's not worth the hassle. I had better change my address to my current one in SGN! Maybe they'll stop us sending our money in Australian Dollars but that's also covered as I just opened a money transfer account with 'torFX' and they quoted me the other day AU$ .77 to one dollar with no transfer fees! My account manager is James. Check them out. They are fair dinkum and based in Penzance in England. Google torfx.

Wont you have to transfer funds to the UK first to use their system.

Dear Yogi, please accept my apology for the late reply to your strategic insight and answer to the post I raised. I have been in several provinces in China that had no internet communications. I just returned to the UK.

I have read the thread that surfaced while I was away. Given your insight I was hoping you could help me with a few questions.

I am married to a Vietnamese girl and we live in the UK. My wife has kept her home in HCM City so we go back to Vietnam every year. In 2017 I had a VND savings in an ACB account. Before we returned to the UK my wife became very concerned with my VND savings. She told me the Vietnamese Government was poised to devalue the VND and my savings might be significantly devalued should this occur. As a result, I withdrew my savings and exchanged it for U.S. dollars and subsequently opened a zero interest savings account ($) with CAB.

Do you know if there is any potential for Government devaluation of the VND and a subsequent loss of savings (if you have a VND savings account)?

Do you think I should leave my zero interest U.S. savings with VIB (former CAB), or, move my savings from VIB to a safer zero interest U.S. dollar savings account (maybe HSBC – or other bank?????) or place the capital I have in a Vietnamese interest earning account with VIB or other safer Vietnamese Bank?

Really appreciate your insight and advise.

Best Regards
Gary - Kytain

Dear Colinoscapee. No, my money is not exactly going to the UK first. Torfx is an electronic entity so no money is exchanged and it is never converted to UK pounds. You send Australian dollars electronically to the torfx account and when you need your US Dollars in Nam you electronically click the amount in AU dollars and click send in US Dollars. It gives you a rate at that moment. You can opt to send it at a nominated higher rate later. It's all just figures in a few computers. Torfx is registered at the FCA in the UK as an electronic bank. It's something probably like Donald Sutherland as 'Oddball' in front of a computer wearing board shorts in Penzance.
I found I needed Vietnamese Dong urgently which torfx don't do. I checked the rates and found to my astonishment that currently The Commonwealth Bank in Sai Gon is giving better rates than torfx on everything anyway! Only slightly but the more one transfers the more significant becomes the difference.
The beauty about The Commonwealth in Australia is that I can transfer money in Australian Dollars to the Commonwealth in Sai Gon and they convert it upon delivery, be it US or AU Dollars at very favourable rates.

Dear Matt and Kytain. The CBA is pulling the pin on its 'venture branches' in Sai Gon but is keeping its 20% share in the VIB mothership. The CBA branches here will be converted to VIB branches. Regarding the HSBC here, apparently, I haven't been for a nose/sticky beak, it may appear to be closed/closing but they are actually installing a new generation computer system.
Yogi is generally in the right direction but his words are not verbatim. Yes, in the west the banks thrive on interest on home loans, other loans, and insurance etc.. Here it's another ball game. The Vietnamese people that I know have never had a loan in their lives. They think it's madness where as in the west it's as normal as the sun rising in the morning. I actually don't think the Western banks think that it's worth the hassle, nor the peanuts to operate here when they can rape the people of their money in Australia. With only 13 million tax payers in Oz the CBA's 2016 profit was over $3,500,000,000. Yup, 3.5 billion, and there are 4 big banks there with similar figures.
I've just read several articles on the devaluation of the Dong . It was devalued in the past by 3% in one year (2015) due to the Chinese devaluing their currency. I the meantime other currencies in the region devalued by between Thailand's 8% to Indonesia's 17%! It was still more profitable thereafter to keep ones money in Dong due to the extremely higher interest rates available over and above the US$. Crucially one of the articles said that 23,000VND to 1 US$ was the target for 2016! Where is the rate now? Almost there! Devaluation also was due to a slump in GDP after the GFC fallout of 2008. Where is the GFC now? Rivalling, if not higher than China's who notoriously give unreliable figures. Devaluation doesn't seem to be on the horizon unless China leads the way again. If you have a bucket load of money and you're jittery then put it into an apartment plan with a Singaporean developer and a top notch construction company. Since bottoming out, and the relaxation of laws on foreign buyers, the housing market has taken a noticeable hike. We all know at our age that big cities expand and prices on the outskirts rise significantly over a period of time.

Kytain. See my reply to matt deo. Sometimes it's best just to Google the subject.

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