On 18 January 2024, the National Assembly passed the new Law on Credit Institutions No. 32/2024/QH15 with effective from 1 July 2024(“New Law on CIs”). Generally, the objectives of the New Law on CIs are to fortify the resilience of the banking system, augment the independence and accountability of credit institutions, and boost the oversight, examination, and surveillance of Vietnam’s banking industry.

For further details, the New Law on CIs set out sets of rules to address the issue of cross-ownership in commercial banks in Vietnam whereby strict requirements are imposed on relevant entities. At the same time, the New Law on CIs introduces the management of bad debts and restructuring where all relevant aspects, including methodology, sale and purchase, enforcement of security, etc. of bad debts are thoroughly governed in a Chapter. Regarding the issue surrounding internet banking, the New Law on CIs governed the legal framework for the operation of digital banking with sandbox program for the banking sector. All of these new regulations introduced by the New Law on CIs, in a way, strengthen the market infrastructure of Vietnam and help Vietnam to take a step further into reaching the emerging market status.

According to the MSCI Global Market Accessibility Review – Country Comparison issued on June 2023 by Morgan Stanley and the FTSE Equity Country Classification September 2023 issued on 28 September 2023 by FTSE Russell, Vietnam remains a frontier market with several indices with improvements needed where information flow and market regulations are two of them. With the new additions and regulations of the New Law on CIs, Vietnam is one step closer with the emerging market status as the market regulations will become much more developed while the investors can benefit from the better information flow as provided under the New Law on CIs. For Vietnam to reach the emerging market earlier, it is believed that the guidance documents of the New Law on CIs should focus more on the availability of relevant information and the streamlined procedure for the setup of relevant investment account.

Regarding the compatibility of this New Law on CIs with Vietnam’s commitments in the EVFTA and the CPTPP, as some related banking/ financial new/ conflicting provisions in these agreements have been directly implemented in Vietnam, the adoption of the New Law on CIs does not derive from the need to bring Vietnamese laws into compliance with international commitments. In other words, in general, the New Law on CIs are introduced in the context that Vietnam’s commitments in the sector have been in line with those in the CPTPP and EVFTA.

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under or any other lawyer listed in our office list if you have any questions on the above. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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