MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
THE STATE BANK OF VIETNAM
BANKING ACADEMY OF VIETNAM
BUI KHAC HOAI PHUONG
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF
COMMERCIAL BANKS IN VIETNAM
Major: Banking and Finance
SUMMARY OF DOCTORAL DISSERTATION IN ECONOMICS
HANOI – 2019
THE DISSERTATION WAS COMPLETED AT
BANKING ACADEMY OF VIETNAM
1. ASSOC. PROF. DR TO KIM NGOC
2. ASSOC. PROF. DR NGUYEN THI MUI
The dissertation will be defensed at the Dissertation Board of
Banking Academy of Vietnam
At ……….. Date …. Month …. Year 2019
The dissertation could be found at:
- Library of Banking Academy of Vietnam
- National library of Vietnam
1. The urgency of the dissertation topic
The sustainability of business in the banking sector is discussed and implemented in developed countries.
Bank executives believe that sustainability is extremely important to the bank's success in the future. This
view is also published in research by two organizations, United Nations Global Compact and Accenture
(2010). The study is the largest study of sustainability, with 766 CEOs from nearly 100 countries in the
world, including 41 CEOs from major banks such as Grupo Santander and Calvert Group. , HSBC,
Storebrand, UniCredit, etc ... The survey results show that 98% of CEOs of banks affirm the importance of
sustainability for business success in the future.
Figure 1: The importance of sustainability for companies and banks
Source: United Nations Global Compact and Accenture CEO Study (2010).
The bank acts as a credit intermediary, a player of the financial market, a capital channel for the
economy, thus banking operations affect and orientate economic development in scale and performance. The
reason why the banks integrate sustainable development in their operation is management agencies, social
organizations and financial organizations often require to consider environmental and social factors. State
management agencies often directly or indirectly regulate the management of environmental and social
impacts in banking operations. Although environmental impacts of the bank itself are not significant
compared to other sectors, the bank has a considerable impact on the environment and the community
through their customers’ activities. In addition, economic cooperation through sponsoring projects often
requires strict environmental and social risk management.
In addition, sustainable development tends to start inside the bank, arising through the need to set core goals
and create their brand value, aligning and balancing the benefits of their stakeholders, create goodwill, build
consumer base and market share, attract financial partners thereby increasing profits in short and long term.
In Vietnam, the development of sustainable banking is at an early stage. Some banks are interested in
this. However, the implementation of sustainable development of banks is not equal, many banks do not
have environmental and social risk management system. Solutions are lacking and legal procedures for
sustainable development are incomplete. In the trend of globalization, the system of commercial banks must
integrate deeply. Therefore, sustainable development helps to improve the competitiveness of the banking
system and is an indispensable trend in line with the trend of international integration.
Currently, the commercial banking system is being restructured in association with bad debt handling to
ensure the safety, health and sustainability of the credit institution, thereby creating a firm premise to curb
inflation. developing and innovating growth models aimed at sustainable economic development.
Because of its urgency and its applicability to sustainability in the future, PhD candidate decided to
choose "Sustainable development of commercial banks in VietNam". PhD candidate wants to assess
sustainability and propose solutions for sustainable development of Vietnam's commercial bank in the trend
of international integration.
2. An overview of the research on sustainable development of banks
2.1 Overview of researches in the world
Assessing sustainability according to performance
There have been many different approaches to assess the sustainability of an organization, the previous
view of sustainability is tied to performance based on maximizing benefits for shareholders. In recent
studies, sustainable development is now expanded into maximizing benefits for other stakeholders, including
shareholders, customers, investors, management agencies and the whole community instead of maximizing
benefit for shareholders. According to traditional approach, bank’s performance is aimed at maximizing
benefits for shareholders.
Application of the theory of stakeholders in sustainable development assessment
The application of theory in sustainable bank assessment has many advantages over traditional
performance appraisal methods. The perception of the performance of banks in previous studies is based on
maximizing shareholder value, so the criteria that reflect the performance of banks tend to focus on the
benefits for shareholders.
There were several studies based on other criteria, in addition to maximizing value for shareholders.
Currently, according to the author's understanding, three previous studies by Garcia and Surroca (2008),
Avkiran and Morita (2010) and Rebai reviewed many stakeholders in assessing bank performance. The study
by Garcia and Surroca (2008) provided a composite performance index using the objectives of various
stakeholders to evaluate the output. Meanwhile, Avkiran and Morita (2010) classified from each stakeholder
perspective to determine inputs and outputs. Rebai's study proposed the concept of sustainable banking and
sustainable finance. This study also assessed performance associated with bank sustainability goals based on
the application of stakeholder theory.
Assessing sustainability of commercial banks through green initiatives
Sahitya and Lalwani (2014) studied the importance of green initiatives for achieving sustainable
banking development goals in India. The study evaluated the efforts of commercial banks to implement
sustainable development, including bank’s internal activities such as using energy resources, exploiting
facilities efficiently. Dyllick and Muff's (2016) studied the significance of a sustainable business model and
categorizes the sustainability of a bank's business into three different levels. . Banks at level 1.0 enhanced the
value of shareholders, the business goal was to benefit shareholders. At level 2.0, banking operations not
only brought value to shareholders but also brought benefits to society and the environment. At Level 3.0,
businesses were completely sustainable, at which level the banks would create business opportunities,
provide environmentally friendly green products and sustainability products from business challenges, social
and environmental issues such as climate change, migration, corruption, resource scarcity, pandemic,
unemployment, overdue debt, financial instability.
Assessing sustainability of an organization by DJSI
The DJSI evaluates the performance of the world's leading companies in economic, environmental and
social indicators, providing investors standards to manage their portfolios. (Searcy et al., 2012). DJSIs are
based on an analysis of economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate
governance, risk management, branding, climate change mitigation, supply chain standards, energy
consumption, human resource development.
Sustainable development according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
The GRI has been developed with the goal of helping organizations report on environmental, social, and
economic activities and to increase their accountability.
2.2 Overview of researches in Vietnam
Researches on sustainable development of banking in Vietnam are very few. There are no
comprehensive researches on sustainable development assessment of Vietnam's commercial banking system.
Tran Thi Hoang Yen (2016) applied a linear regression model to examine the relationship and impact of
independent variables: corporate social responsibility to the bank's financial results through variables
Dependencies are ROA and ROE. In this study, the author clarified theories of corporate social
responsibility. This was the core theory of social responsibility of organizations. Nguyen Hong Son et al.
(2015) summarized the views and criteria for evaluating sustainable bank development. The authors assessed
the development of Vietnam's commercial banking system and re-structured in line with international
practices, which also provided solutions for the sustainable development of the Vietnamese commercial
banking system. However, the content of the study focused on assessing the realities of banking system
development and restructure, mainly based on criteria for assessing the stability and soundness of the
banking system. This study đin’t elaborate on the situation of sustainable development of the commercial
banking system in line with international practices on environmental and social factors affecting banking
In general, studies on sustainable development of commercial banking system in the country are not
much, especially studies on sustainable banking models. Domestic studies focued on assessing the
performance of commercial banks, there were very few researches on sustainable development of
commercial banks. Research directly related to the topic of dissertation is a study by Nguyen Hong Son et al.
(2015). This study analyzed the development status of commercial banks associated with the restructuring of
the banking system. However, this study analyzed the sustainable development of the banking system, which
did not integrate environmental and social issues into the bank's operations - these are considered important
elements of sustainability.
2.3 Research questions
The first question: What is the theory of sustainable commercial banks? In order to answer this
question, the study will present and synthesize a theoretical framework for sustainable development of
commercial banks, including: perspectives, principles and models for sustainable development, etc. This
study proposes the definition, principles and model for sustainable development of commercial banks.
The second question: What is the lesson for Vietnam on the sustainable development of commercial
banks from the experiences of other countries in the world? This question is answered through the study of
commercial bank sustainable development experience from the typical banking model, the success of
different countries. Country experiences and sustainable management pathways, sustainable development
stages, and sustainable development practices of successful and typically successful banks in regionally and
in developed countries.
The third question: What is the level of sustainable development of commercial banks in Vietnam? This
question will be answered through the development of criteria for assessing bank sustainability. These
criteria are also used to assess the sustainability of the commercial banking system in terms of economic,
social and environmental sustainability.
The fourth question: What obstacles do the sustainable development of commercial banks in Vietnam?
This question was answered through expert consultation to identify major obstacles to banks through a
survey of bank managers based on defined criteria.
The fifth question: How to develop a sustainable commercial banks in Vietnam in the integration trend?
This question is answered through research on the impact of global economic integration on the sustainable
development of Vietnam's banking system and measures to promote the sustainable development of the
3. Objectives of the research
3.1. Overall objectives
The overall objective of the research is to assess the current status of sustainable development of
commercial bank and to propose solutions for the sustainable development of the Vietnamese commercial
3.2. Detail objectives
- Assess the current status of the sustainable development of Vietnam's bank for the period 2008-2017.
- Analyzing the factors affecting the sustainable development of Vietnam's commercial bank, clarifying
the challenges for the sustainable development strategy of the commercial banking system.
- Proposing solutions to promote the sustainable development of Vietnam's commercial banks in the
period of 2019-2025.
4. Objects and scope of the research
Objects of the research: The sustainable development of the commercial banking system in Vietnam, in
terms of healthy bank balance, environmental and social issues.
Scope of the research: The dissertation on the sustainable development of 12 joint stock commercial
banks in Vietnam from 2008 to 2017. Data are collected in the audited financial statements of each bank to
calculate financial indicators. Data is collected over a long period and financial indicators are quite many.
The dissertation only assesses of sustainable development of 12 commercial banks, including 3 state
commercial joint stock banks and 9 joint stock commercial banks.
5. Research methodology
5.1 Method of data collection and processing
The research uses the descriptive statistical method using the STATA 12 to calculate the indexes, mean,
standard deviation, maximum and minimum values, and the degree of time series. This result is used to
assess the sustainability of the commercial banking system for the period of 2008 to 2017.
5.2 Survey method
The research is an in-depth survey of banking managers from vice-manager upwards to assess
performance and find barriers to sustainability of commercial banks. The survey participants are managers,
strategic decision makers, implementers and implementers of the Bank's sustainable development strategy.
6. The contribution of the dissertation
The dissertation systemizes the theory and elaborates more on the theory of sustainable development of
the banking. Based on the views on sustainable bank development, the dissertation has identified various
sustainable banking models, standards and principles for the sustainable development of commercial banks
by leading banks in sustainable development initiatives around the world. The dissertation lists the
sustainable banking models and the principle of sustainability of each model. Based on that, the dissertation
proposes to develop a system of criteria for assessing sustainability of commercial banks through criteria that
reflect economic, social and environmental sustainability. These criterias are integrated through the products
and services provided by the bank.
The dissertation also studies on sustainable development experiences of commercial banks of developed
nations and developing countries. These experiences come from the countries that have developed and
implemented the sustainable development path and the sustainable development practices of successful
banks and typical banks in the countries. Based on the experience gained and the sustainable banking model
in the world, the author identifies the conditions for sustainable development of the commercial banking
system in Vietnam.
The dissertation analyzes the current state of sustainable development of commercial banks in the
period from 2008 to 2017. The dissertation evaluates the achievements and shortcomings in the sustainable
development of commercial banks in Vietnam. One of the biggest obstacles is the development and
improvement of environmental and social risk management systems. This management system needs to be
integrated as a method of credit risk assessment to approve loan projects.
The dissertation proposed solutions for sustainable development of Vietnam's commercial bank in line
with international integration trends. In particular, the dissertation proposes a sustainable model through
three phases: Phase 1 is building an internal environmental management system; Phase 2 is the management
of environmental and social risks in lending and investment; Phase 3 is to provide sustainable financial
products. In addition, the dissertation proposes to relevant agencies of the bank such as the Government,
relevant ministries, State Bank of Vietnam, commercial banks and clients to implement proposed solutions
most consistently and effectively.
7. The structure of the dissertation
Apart from the introduction and conclusion, the dissertation consists of 3 chapters:
Chapter 1: Theoretical issues on sustainable development of commercial bank
Chapter 2: The situation of sustainable development of Vietnam's commercial banks in the period from
2008 to 2017.
Chapter 3: Solutions for the Sustainable Development of Vietnam's Commercial Banks from 2019 to
THEORETICAL ISSUES ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL BANK
1.1 PERSPECTIVES ON PRINCIPLES AND MODELS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF
1.1.1 Perspectives on on sustainable development
Sustainable development is "development that meets current needs without compromising or
compromising the capabilities of future generations". This definition emphasizes the long-term viability of
sustainable development; current developments must not affect future generations. (WCED, 1987).
1.1.2 Perspectives on sustainable banking development
Based on literature review on sustainable development of commercial banks, the author proposes the
definition: "Sustainable Bank secures development stable, healthy, contributing to the strength of the
financial system. The bank has policies and activities to improve the environment. The bank's activities
aim to maximize benefits to stakeholders and the whole community”.
From the perspectives on sustainable banking development as above, sustainable banks have the following
characteristics: (1) The bank has a healthy, efficient and sustainable financial capacity. (2) The Bank has
policies to encourage and support companies, environmentally and socially responsible investment projects
to contribute to promoting sustainable economic growth. (3) Sustainable banking activities bring benefits to
shareholders and to the others such as customers, management agencies, employees, suppliers and the whole
1.1.3 Models of sustainable development of commercial banks
a. Modeling on the level of sustainable development
Figure 1. 2 Levels of sustainable development of commercial banks
The first level is unsustainable development, the bank's goal is to maximize profits for shareholders, but
not paying attention to and focusing on environmental and social efficiency in lending and investment
The second level is integrated development, which aims to maximize profits and integrate E&S issues in
operations. At this level, the bank's income structure is from traditional lending projects that benefit the
environment and community.
The final level is sustainable banking, which has built and implemented policy systems on sustainable
development, including: principles and standards for sustainable development, banking management
according to international standards, initiatives on sustainable development. The principles and standards of
sustainable banking development are enforced from managers to make credit and investment decisions.
b. Modeling on business strategy
- Sustainable banking model combined with traditional business: This business model is popular in
developing countries with low technology and capital. Therefore, there are no conditions for sustainable
bank development. The characteristic of this model is that the bank will consider the environmental and
social implications for lending projects and in investment activities. Banks will reject projects that have a
negative impact on the environment and society.
Figure 1.3: Sustainable banking model in line with traditional business
- Sustainable banking model:
The Global Alliance of Banking Values has built on the key features of sustainable banking, including
the following six principles: the three key elements are human, planet and prosperity; serving the real
economy; long-term relationship with customers; long-term, self-sustainability and recovery; transparent and
comprehensive management. These principles are attached to the culture of the bank.
This model is often implemented in developed countries where banks are supported, facilitating
sustainable development thanks to well-designed and sustainably-designed legal systems. was created.
Sustainable banks in these countries have strong links and support from non-governmental organizations on
environmental initiatives and social issues to provide sustainable financial products.
The culture of
1.2. SYSTEM CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF
Based on the perspectives and sustainable banking models, the dissertation synthesizes, supplements
and completes the system of criteria to assess the sustainability of commercial banks in terms of economic,
social and environmental sustainability. These criteria are integrated in commercial banks’ operations,
including ensuring economic, social and environmental efficiency in internal and external activities such as
lending and investment. The criteria reflect economic sustainability include equity size, group of criteria for
credit risk, profitability, executive management; criteria reflect liquidity are integrated and developed by
author according to CAMELS frame, the Financial Soundness Indicators (FISs) of IMF. Criteria reflect
stability, healthy and sustainability are synthesized and developed by author.
Author develop criteria that reflect the environmental and social sustainability of the bank based on
IFC's performance standards for environmental and social sustainability, equatorial principles, and
environmental initiatives of the United Nations. Dow Jones Sustainable Index (DJSI), GRI.
In addition, the sustainability of commercial banks is associated with providing green products and
sustainable finance. Accordingly, banks with low sustainability provide products with improved selection on
environmental issues, limiting the negative effects of products on the environment. The system of criteria for
sustainable banking assessment is built, synthesized and developed as follows:
assessment of the size of equity
Group of criteria that credit risk
Criteria that reflect profitability
chất lượng tài sản
management and executive capacity
Criteria groups reflect liquidity
Criteria for technological capability
stability and sustainability of commercial
Invest in a socially responsible
Commitments to sustainable
Environmental and Social Risk
Responsibility for the environment
1.3 EXPERIENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL BANKS SOME
COUNTRIES AND LESSONS FOR VIETNAM
1.3.1 Experience on sustainable development of commercial banks some countries
184.108.40.206 In developing countries
Bangladesh has developed a national framework for managing environmental and social risks. The
central bank has forced commercial banks to implement the risk management framework by 2011. To
implement this policy, the central bank of Bangladesh has developed a roadmap for implementation of three
phases from 2011 to 2013.
Indonesia has a systematic approach to classifying loans that meet financially sustainable standards. The
government and industry have developed policies to assist banks in classifying their loan projects.
220.127.116.11 In developed countries
The green investment fund in the Netherlands is a combination of tax credits and tax exemptions for
investors in green funds as defined by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Ministry
of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture. The program provides a safe investment for investors, while
reducing the cost of financing for environmentally friendly projects. Since launching the program in 1995,
234,400 individuals have invested more than € 6.8 billion in green funds, funding more than 5,000 projects.
1.3.2 Lesson on sustainable development for Vietnamese commercial banks
Firstly, the complete legal framework for sustainable development of commercial banks
Secondly, the national policy framework on environmental and social risk management:
Name of Policy
Codes (Voluntary or
Environmental Risk Management
Green Credit Guidelines
Roadmap for Sustainable Finance in
Socio- Environmental Liability Po
The Nigerian Sustainable Banking
Green Protocol (Protocolo Verde)
Thirdly, Applying initiatives on sustainability
Fourthly, provide sustainable financial products
1.4 CONDITIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL BANKS
Firstly, financial capacity is stable and healthy
Secondly, improve the system of environmental and social risk management
Thirdly, the participation and support of related parties of commercial banks
Fourthly, adhere to international standards of sustainability
Fifthly, diversify banking services and provide sustainable financial products
adhere to international standards of
the participation and support of related parties
of commercial banks
improve the system of environmental and social risk
financial capacity is stable and healthy
Source: synthesis of the author
CHAPTER 2: THE SITUATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF VIETNAM'S
COMMERCIAL BANKS IN THE PERIOD FROM 2008 TO 2017
2.1. VIETNAM'S BANKING SYSTEM FROM 2011 TO THE PRESENT
2.2 THE STATUS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL BANKIS IN
2.2.1 Legal framework for sustainable development of commercial banking system
The legal framework for sustainable development of Vietnam's banking system has been gradually
built and improved, creating a driving force for the whole banking industry to practice sustainable
2.2.2 Group of criteria for assessing sustainable economic banking
18.104.22.168 Criteria of size of equity capital
70000 billions VND 63765
Equity of Vietnamese commercial banks in 2017
Source: Commercial bank's annual report
22.214.171.124 Group of criteria that reflects the credit risk
Describe the criteria that reflects the credit risk
of The average Standard
NPL’s to total loans
NPL’s to total equity
Potential loss loan
Source: processing data of the author using STATA 12
Non-performing loan ratio (NPLs) of banks is at a minimum of 0.34% and a maximum of 8.8%. The
ratio of bad debt to equity ranges from 0.83% to 61.93%. Thus, the ratio of bad debt to equity of commercial
banks is too high. In particular, there are banks with 61.93%, so bad debt is more than half of equity.
126.96.36.199 Group of criteria reflects profitability
Describe the criteria that reflects profitability
average Standard deviation
Smallest value Greatest
Source: processing data of the author using STATA 12
The ROA and ROE differ widely, with ROA fluctuating between 0.027% and 2.66% and ROE
fluctuating between 3% and 36%.
188.8.131.52 Group of criteria reflects ability of executive management
Describe the criteria that reflects ability of executive management
Growth of debit balance
Growth of asset
Growth of income
Source: processing data of the author using STATA 12
The average value of the growth rate of outstanding loans in the period of 2008-2017 of the
commercial banking system is 37.43%. Total asset growth rate was 33.85% and income growth rate was
25.26%. Although the average growth rate of these criteria is relatively high, the growth rate is unstable.
Specifically, some banks have increased their outstanding loans by over 748%, some banks have reduced
this rate to 23.34%, some banks have growth rates of over 835% and growth rate the lowest is 37.26%.
184.108.40.206 Group of criteria reflecting liquidity
220.127.116.11 Group of criteria reflecting technology level
18.104.22.168 Group of criteria reflecting stability and sustainability of commercial banks
a. Equity structure
Vietnam joint stock commercial banks are owned by different shareholders, of which state owned
commercial banks have a very high proportion of state ownership of over 60% including VCB, VietinBak
and BIDV, the remaining joint stock banks are owned by various shareholders including individuals and
legal entities at home and abroad. In recent years, many commercial joint stock banks in Vietnam have
shareholders being international financial corporations. However, starting from the end of 2017, many
strategic investors and foreign major shareholders have withdrawn capital at domestic banks.
b.Capital Adequacy Ratio
The average CAR of commercial banks is 12.66%, the ratio is quite high in the period 2008-2017, the
lowest value is 8.02% and the bank had the ratio of 45, 89%. The leverage ratio is 12.53%. BIDV has the
highest average leverage ratio of 18.37%. Meanwhile, ACB has a financial ratio of 45.37% and Vietinbank is
14.57%. Eximbank has the lowest leverage ratio (8.36%).
Currently there are only two banks that follow basel standards II are VCB and VIB.
Capital Adequacy Ratio
of The average Standard Smallest
Source: processing data of the author using STATA 12
To assess the impact of the Basel III framework on banks, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision
monitors the effects and dynamics of the reforms. Information considered for this report was obtained by
voluntary and confidential data submissions from individual banks and their national supervisors. Data were
provided for a total of 206 banks, including 111 large internationally active (“Group 1”) banks, among them
all 30 G-SIBs, and 95 other (“Group 2”) banks.
Compared with the previous reporting period (June 2017) the average Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1)
capital ratio under the fully phased-in initial Basel III framework has increased from 12.5% to 12.9% for
Group 1 banks and from 14.7% to 16.0% for Group 2 banks.
All Group 1 and Group 2 banks (including all 30 G-SIBs) would meet the CET1 minimum capital
requirement of 4.5% and the CET1 target level of 7.0% (ie including the capital conservation buffer). This
target also includes the G-SIB surcharge where applicable but does not include any countercyclical capital
c. The short-term capital ratio for medium and long-term loans
Figure 2.11: The ratio of medium and long term debt to total outstanding loans in 2017
Source: Commercial bank's annual report and calculations by the author
d. Income structure
Income of commercial banks is mainly from interest income. There are banks with net interest income
of nearly 90% of total income. Traditional non-credit services will be the foundation for generating
sustainable income for the bank. Developing non-credit services contributes to the diversification of banking
products and services, providing customers with a variety of utilities. Providing credit services also
contributes to diversifying risks in business operations, gradually reducing dependence on revenue from
credit activities, increasing income and profit from service activities. Therefore, this service generates stable
and sustainable income of banks.
Commercial banks' income is relatively high in 2017. Net interest income accounts for the highest
proportion of total commercial bank earnings (76.6% in 2017), followed by income Services income from
services (10.3%), income from securities trading and income from equity contribution accounted for a very
low proportion of total income. Net interest income in FY2010 increased by 24% y / y to VND 2,264
million, while net interest income increased 51.7% y / y to VND 595 million, net income from securities
investment in 2017 down 19.8% (equivalent to 38.5 million) compared with 2016.
Countries in the euro area have a relatively high proportion of non-interest income in total income, in
2013, this rate reached 40.39%. Compared with banks of the Euro, Vietnamese commercial banks have a
very low proportion of non-interest income.
e. Bad debt structure
Bad debt of Vietnamese commercial banks
Source: Commercial bank's annual report
According to a commercial bank's report, bad debt tends to increase after restructuring from 2011 to
2015. The NPL ratio in 2017 of 12 commercial banks is 2.04%, down from 2016 is 2.31 %. However, the
size of bad debt tends to increase. In 2016, the total bad debt of 12 banks was VND 59,916,000,000
increasing by 26,34% (equivalent to VND 12,492,000,000). Of which, subordinated debt tended to increase
sharply, increasing 68.6% (equivalent to VND 7,356,000,000). In 2017, bad debts of these commercial banks
reached VND 61,776,000,000, a growth rate of 3% (corresponding to VND 1,860,000,000) compared to
2016. In which, bad debt is expected to increase sharply to 75, 8% (equivalent to VND 7,224,000,000).
Thus, bad debts of commercial banks have not been thoroughly dealt with after restructuring, bad debt is still
high in the banking system. However, these bad debts are bad debts on the balance sheet reported by banks,
this figure has not reflected adequately and intrinsic bad debts, excluding the bad debts sold to VAMC and
the amounts has been removed from the balance sheet.
f. Cross-ownership status of commercial banking system
g. Ability to apply 4.0 technology to provide banking products and services
2.2.2 Group of criteria for assessing social sustainability
22.214.171.124 Employee benefits
Employee treatment policies include compensation policies, good employee benefits, training activities
to improve the quality of human resources, provide career development opportunities for workers, and
promote gender equality, creating fairness, paying attention to the lives and well-being of workers, human
rights issues such as labor-related activities, etc.
Employee income: Commercial banks have a policy of salary and bonus of employees closely related to
business results. Compared to other industries, the average income of employees in the banking industry is
- Training to improve the quality of human resources, commercial banks do not have in-depth training
courses for staff on environmental issues to raise awareness and capacity to assess the risks in decisions in
lending. To ensure sustainable development, credit officers need to adequately and accurately assess the
environmental risk management process in their business operations, reject projects that are harmful to the
environment and society. At present, some banks, such as Sacombank and Vietinbank, have set up
specialized social and environmental risk assessment teams, indicating that these banks have initially paid
attention to environmental and social risks in lending.
- Benefits for employees
- Human rights and the process of using labor in commercial banks in Vietnam in recent years have not
recorded any cases related to forced labor, child labor, etc.
126.96.36.199 Customer benefits
188.8.131.52 Comprehensive finance
184.108.40.206 Invest in a socially responsible manner
With a large scale of capital and to achieve the social objectives of the State, commercial banks of the
state invest in social security. In the period 2010-2016, BIDV has sponsored more than 1,448 billion dong,
Vietcombank financed more than 1,220 billion dong. Since its inception, Vietinbank has supported over
6,500 billion dong of social security. In investment for social security, investments in improving the quality
of education and health are the banks focus and invest most. In addition, banks also donate charitable and
voluntary activities to share difficulties and improve the quality of life of the community.
2.2.3 Group of criteria for assessing environmentally sustainable banks
220.127.116.11 Environmental and social risk management system
a. Environmental and social risk management policy
b. Situation of implementing the system of environmental and social risk assessment of commercial banks
Commercial banks attach great importance to environmental and social risks when evaluating loan
projects. BIDV does not approve loans for unplanned projects. Vietcombank only accepts credit for projects
that have been approved for environmental impact assessment and requires the project owner to provide
information related to technology and environment in the application file. Sacombank deploys an ESMS
system that is implemented with the following elements: Strategy, governance model, environmental and
social policy (E&S) integrated into the credit process, Excel includes E&S impact assessment for customers,
ESMS group establishment at Head Office. BIDV has promoted green credit growth and environmental and
social risk management in credit extension through projects linked to the World Bank. In fact, the
implementation of the environmental and social risk assessment system in the credit extension of most banks
only rests on the integration of requirements for approved projects. move to the environment. Only a few
banks have independent credit assessments on the environmental and social risks of the loan project. In
addition, the report on sustainable development of commercial banks shows that there are no significant
negative and negative environmental impacts on the bank's product supply chain. So far, there have been no
complaints about environmental impacts, and no loans have been closed due to environmental issues. This
fact shows that many banks have not adequately assessed the environmental and social risks of credit
granting, and have not closely monitored E & S risks after capital transactions with customers.
18.104.22.168 Commitments to sustainable development of commercial banks in Vietnam
According to the results of the survey, bank managers agree with the view of sustainable development of
commercial banks in the following aspects: sustainable development bank is a stable and transparent
operation to ensure the interests of the parties involved and contribute to the stable and healthy development
of the financial system. In addition, the criteria for integrating environmental and social issues into the
operation of banks have not been well appreciated by management. With the objective of sustainable
development, managers highly appreciate the criteria to meet the requirements of state management agencies
and create the relationship with customers. Survey results show that the goal of sustainable development is
mainly to meet the requirements from outside the management agencies and customers. Commercial banks
have not yet actively implemented sustainable development in order to seek profit and investment
opportunities in the environment.
2.2.4 Provide sustainable products
At present, commercial banks in Poland only provide a number of green products, support sustainable
development projects for the community such as social security projects, education, health, grassroots
Some banks have been lending credit to the environment, such as using energy savings. These banks
also participate in some typical environmental projects such as waste treatment, environmental awareness
rising for the community, providing some environmentally friendly products, participating in international
cooperation projects, etc. However, there are not any banks that develop under the model of sustainable
banking and provide a diverse range of sustainable financial products. Commercial banks are providing
credit along with environmental and social factors. Sacombank, Techcombank and Vietinbank have applied
and disclosed information about environmental and social impact assessment systems for credit projects. The
financial resources provided for the most environmentally-friendly projects are still available through links
with foreign sources, funding from the World Bank, or through cooperation with governments in developed
countries. Commercial banks are involved in financial management, customers, disbursements, etc. Banks
must be assessed technically, environmentally and socially, and technology by other units that are not banks.
The granting of credits to environmentally-friendly projects, clean energy projects and renewable energy
from banks is still limited.
2.3 ASSESSING CURRENT STATE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL
BANKS IN VIETNAM
- Firstly, the legal framework on banking safety has been gradually improved.
- Secondly, financial capacity of the banking system is stable and transparent in operation. After
restructuring the banking system for the period 2011-2015, financial capacity of commercial banks improved
markedly. The criteria of capital adequacy, asset quality, growth rate, liquidity and income of commercial
banks have achieved good results since 2015.
- Thirdly, reduce the cross-ownership of the banking system: In 2017 many commercial banks,
especially state-owned commercial banks, have successfully withdrawn capital in credit institutions and
other companies to ensure safe and effective. BIDV continued to effectively divest some of its investments,
resulting in a total return of 444.72 billion dong, surpassing its target for 2017 (259 percent). Vietcombank
successfully divested capital at Saigon Commercial Bank and Cement Finance Joint Stock Company.
Accordingly, Vietcombank has collected profit of VND200 billion after the divestment. By the end of 2017,
Vietcombank successfully sold two thirds of its shares in Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OCB) and
earned 171 billion dong. EIB, MBB continue to implement the plan to divest.
- Fourthly, compliance with environmental regulations
- Fifthly, invest in social policies: Commercial banks have successfully implemented internal social
issues such as income policies linked to business results of the bank, pay on demand and efficiency of work,
reward policiess have encouraged staffs’ engagement. Commercial banks have policies to improve the
quality of human resources and promotion policies to motivate employees to promote their own capacity.
The average income of staff, bank staff is usually higher than other branches. In addition, commercial banks
in Vietnam comply well with human rights regulations and workers enjoy legal rights. There is no human
rights violation such as not using child labor in any business activities, no claims of forced labor, and no
violations of the rights of indigenous peoples.
2.3.2 Limitations and reasons
Firstly, many commercial banks have not followed Basel II standards. Up to now, Vietcombank and
VIB has already met the Basel II standards.
Secondly, Limitations on Investment Resources for Sustainable Development
Source: survey results
Thirdly, Increase in potential bad debt in the banking system
Although bad debt tends to decrease in post-restructuring 2011-2015, the scale is still large. Bad debt is
increasingly difficult to identify and so far no measures to deal with bad debt.
Bad debts of commercial banks have not been thoroughly dealt with after restructuring, bad
debts are still high in the banking system. However, these bad debts are reported by banks only and
not included bad debts sold to VAMC and other amounts taken out of the balance sheet, thus this
figure does not reflect fully and substantially the bad debts.
Fourthly, challenges from successful application of technology revolution 4.0
Fifth, lack of sustainable financial products
Currently, there is no bank that has developed according to a sustainable bank model and offers a
variety of sustainable financial products. Sustainable financial products are provided primarily through links
with funds, non-governmental organizations or tdeveloped countries.
Sixth, customer rights are not guaranteed
Some commercial banks do not guarantee the safety of customers' deposits which are partly or
completely lost set of deposits of customers, such as Eximbank, Ocean Bank ... Another limitation in
commercial banks Vietnam is when the damage occurs, the bank does not solve it in time, even the customer
has to sue in court.
Seventh, income of commercial banks is heavily dependent on credit activities.
Net interest income accounted for the highest proportion in total income of commercial banks, this rate
reached 76.6% in 2017. Credit activities are characterized by low profit margins, depending on the difference
between input costs (deposit interest rates) and lending rates
Secondly, there is a lack of training to improve the capacity of staff and a lack of information on the
Firstly, the legal framework to promote the commercial banking system sustainable development
limited legal framework
lack of sustainability inventions
Source: survey results
Secondly, High quality human resources to meet the requirements of sustainable development
lack of coordination of stakeholders Limited TopManagementSupport
Source: survey results
Thirdly, environmental and social risk management system of commercial banks
Fourthly, lack of training courses to improve staff capacity and lack of environmental information
Fifth, lack of coordination and support of stakeholders
Sixth, international standards for sustainability have not been widely applied in Vietnamese commercial
Source: survey results
Seventh, the effectiveness of implementing social and environmental policies is not high
Vietnam has developed many environmental protection policies but effective implementation of legal
regulations is still limited. Many projects that greatly affect the environment are still approved for
environmental impacts, many projects that do not meet the required environmental standards are still allowed
to operate and approved for project implementation and even expand the scale of production.
CHAPTER 3: SOLUTIONS FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF VIETNAM'S
COMMERCIAL BANKS FROM 2019 TO 2025
3.1 OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
COMMERCIAL BANKING SYSTEM IN VIETNAM IN THE TREND OF INTEGRATION
3.1.1 Trends in sustainable development of the commercial banking system
3.1.2 Sustainable development orientation of Vietnamese commercial banks until 2025
3.2 SOLUTIONS TO DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE BANKING IN VIETNAM IN THE TREND OF
3.2.1 Enhance the stability and transparency of commercial banks
22.214.171.124 Increase in equity of commercial banks
Firstly, improve risk management in order to reduce costs of risk provisions which accounted for a
considerable proportion of expense in bank's operations; thus, enhancing risk management capacity may
Secondly, improve the ability to cooperate with potential investors by selling shares to foreign strategic
investors because these investors have strong capital and good management capacity.
Thirdly, increase equity by issuing bonds, medium and long-term deposit certificates to investors. To
successfully implement this solution, commercial banks need to calculate the appropriate interest rates to
attract investors and compete with other financial institutions.
Fourthly, provide new products and services to increase utilities for customers and increase proportion
of income from service activities, reduce the dependence on credit activities.
Fifthly, increase equity by paying more stock dividends and less cash dividends. Although shareholders
will not be happy to not receive cash dividends, in order to increase financial capacity and improve
competitiveness, the bank must increase its capital capacity.
Sixthly, call for more capital from existing shareholders to preserve the bank's shareholder structure.
However, not all the banks can implement this solution. For the banks that operate effectively, existing
shareholders are willing to invest more, while low-performing banks will have difficulty in implementing
126.96.36.199 Improve asset quality of commercial banks
Completing the legal framework on debt trading market which still has many limitations, as the market
participants are limited in accordance with the law, the seizure and handling of security property has many
legal obstacles, rights and responsibilities. Debt and seller's responsibility have not been clearly defined.
Currently, only VAMC and DATC of the Ministry of Finance operate effectively, while 28 Asset
Management Companies (AMC) of commercial banks have very limited resources and most of them only
handle internal debt for the parent banks themselves. Therefore, it is necessary to complete a legal
framework on the debt trading market for various types of participants, continue to strengthen capital
capacity for VAMC, DATC, optimize asset portfolio and sell at reasonable prices to increase the ability to
convert these debts into cash. These solutions help to boost the debt trading market effectively.
The SBV has taken drastic measures to properly and adequately determine the size and structure of
NPLs, including potential bad debts and forcing commercial banks to deal with bad debts, and selling bad
debts at reasonable prices.
Implementing measures of securitizing bad debts, restructuring debts and issuing shares to companies,
handling bad debts through cooperation and joint ventures with companies for the purpose of sharing risks
and increase the ability to recover capital from handling these debts; Valuation, classification of bad debts
and selling it on the stock market.
For some weak banks (e.g. poor asset quality and poor liquidity), strong measures need to be applied:
forced to merger or closure.
188.8.131.52 Enhance the quality of management and administration of commercial banks, apply management
methods in accordance with international standards.
3.2.2 Improve environmental and social risk management system
and social risk in
Phase I: Building internal management system
- Take measures to effectively use energy and resources within the banks.
- Incorporating environmental risk in customer relationship management
- Raising awareness about the environment and energy for employees
- Initiation of environmental management in the operation of banks
- Selection and training of staff on environmental and energy issues
- Implement communication measures to provide employees with important environmental information
- Compliance with environmental standards and regulations
Phase II: Environmental risk management in lending activities
- Evaluate and monitor the environmental risk of the customer's business activities.
- Find out and eliminate bad credit proposals for the environment
- Encourage customers to reduce adverse environmental impacts in their business.
Phase III: Provide sustainable financial products
- Provide green financial products and sustainable products
- Provide specific solutions to assist clients invest in environmental improvement and clean technology
- Monitoring environmental and social compliance of loan projects
- Measures to handle when customers do not comply with environmental and social regulations
In the final phase, banks will provide sustainable and green financial products. Banks around the world
have provided these products, including: environmental investment funds, sustainable payments, sustainable
savings products, sustainable credit, environmental insurance, microfinance tissue, climate products, and
environmental consulting services. etc ...
At present, not many commercial banks in Vietnam provide green and sustainable credit products.
Annual reports of many commercial banks do not clearly show the green and sustainable products provided
by the banks. Green and sustainable products are provided mainly through channels linking with foreign
organizations. Typically, BIDV provides rural finance sponsored by the World Bank, banks affiliated with
green investment funds.
3.2.3 Enhancing human resources for sustainable development
3.2.4. Solutions on technology application for sustainable development
184.108.40.206 Improvement of information technology infrastructure
220.127.116.11 Solutions to enhance the applicability of technology in the technological revolution 4.0
In the trend of integration and competitive markets, commercial banks are enhanced by the support of
science and technology, which highlights the 4.0 revolution. Leading-edge technologies in the innovation of
FinTech (Financial Technology) include distributed ledger technology (DLT), wireless technology, birth
large data sets, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. These technologies are combined with existing
Specifically, in the payment and payment, a variety of new applications have emerged in the financial
industry in the world. Fintech's innovation aims to encourage the involvement of non-financial institutions in
the financial services industry and enhance competition and cooperation between financial and non-financial
In terms of potential benefits for commercial banks, the Industrial Revolution 4.0 can overcome the
inefficiency of current financial services. Digital technology will also enable commercial banks to improve
their profitability by helping them design new business models and reduce ICT investment costs. Consumers
may enjoy increased utility, such as reduced transaction costs, greater convenience and wider range of
options in financial products and services.
3.2.5 Solutions to diversify products and provide sustainable finance
Commercial banks should develop the provision of non-credit services such as investment,
diversification of electronic payment services, corporate and personal financial advisory services, to provide
environmental and social counseling services to small and medium enterprises. In addition, commercial
banks develop sustainable financial products to enhance their brand value and engage with customers,
Promote links with governments in developed countries in the design and delivery of sustainable and
green financial products. To gain access to their experience in assessing, assessing and monitoring the
environmental and social impacts of borrowers.
Commercial banks should develop environmental standards for loan approval. Commercial banks need
to identify barriers to green products and customer service. These barriers may include lack of product
information and awareness of stakeholders, the inability of product design, or cost uncertainty over profit.
Commercial banks should conduct market research and analysis related to the environment and desires
of each customer segment, in order to identify and categorize their green finance needs, from which there are
Designing products suitable for each customer group. For those customers who are not well aware of the
environmental issues, commercial banks need to take measures to stimulate demand for green products and
services through marketing and communication campaigns and educational activities to raise awareness of
Sustainable financial products not only provide credit, but also provide funding for green projects,
which have a positive impact on the environment, but also extends to savings, insurance and advisory
services. E & S issues for businesses, investors, the establishment and operation of green investment funds,
the mobilization of capital markets from green bonds, certificates of deposit, etc.
3.3.1 Recommendations to the Government and relevant Ministries
Firstly, commercial banks must prioritize the development and finalization of legal documents to ensure
the implementation of Vietnam's commitments when joining the integration, creating a competitive
environment, Transparent, convenient and transparent of the financial system, etc.
Secondly, commercial banks must develop a legal framework and drastically implement solutions to
promote green and sustainable economic growth. Banks also have to develop principles and standards to
attract capital into sustainable sectors, such as reducing the use of renewable energy by renewable energy
sources such as solar, wind power, projects that use energy efficiently to combat climate change and
implement green growth
Thirdly, commercial banks need to have solutions to support, promote the system of commercial banks
to implement sustainable development and then spread to other sectors of the economy. Banks should take
measures to encourage financial institutions to provide credit for environmentally friendly and renewable
energy projects, contributing to the sustainable allocation of investment capital.
Fourthly, commercial banks need to build a legal framework for the development of a typical
sustainable banking model.
3.3.2 Recommendations to state banks
- Build a roadmap and policies to develop into a sustainable bank, including common principles and
norms for the sustainable development of the commercial banking system, uniform and consistent ESMS
policies. To move towards requiring commercial banks to incorporate environmental issues as part of their
credit risk approach to assessing borrowers. In parallel with the policy formulation, commercial banks should
develop a mechanism to supervise and administer ESMS in a uniform manner and disclose information that
will take strict measures against banks that do not comply with ESMS. Effectively managing and enforcing
- Specify commercial banks to develop and implement ESMS to evaluate and monitor projects
throughout the lending process. Banks also need to formulate policy frameworks for specific areas to create
an environment assessment framework for sensitive sectors such as agriculture, metallurgy, mechanics,
cement production, basic metals and chemicals, manufacturing and service industries.
3.3.3 Recommendations to commercial banks
Banks need to apply the ESMS system throughout their banking operations, combining environmental
and social risk assessment in customer management; Creation of environmental issues in banking activities,
establishment of environmental and social risk management systems in approving loan projects.
In addition, banks need to design a credit contract that contains terms and obligations and obligations to
comply with the provisions of the law on environment and society. There are solutions to help customers
enforce environmental regulations.
Commercial banks need to develop a sustainable banking strategy in a sustainable banking model. All
of its banking operations are sustainable and provide a full range of sustainable financial products, or a
sustainable banking model combined with traditional business, integrating E & S risk management into
credit, both provide environmental and social responsibility.
Banks should have a policy to effectively manage ESMS risks to improve the quality of their portfolio,
providing sustainable financial products that generate new returns, new markets and customers and new
products. The practice of a sustainable banking model helps commercial banks get financially wealth from
financially viable firms.
3.3.4 For borrowers is an enterprise
Commercial banks should adopt policies and implement environmental and social risk management
issues for borrowers of sustainable finance projects. Policies include Environmental Management Plan
(EMP), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). These banks should also integrate environmental
provisions including ESMS, EIA and EMP into the loan application. Environmental monitoring by ESMS,
EIA and EMP and loan. Reporting and evaluation must comply with environmental safety. Thus, the
environmental policy of the enterprise will go through from project preparation to loan completion, project
implementation and completion of the project.
The dissertation assessed the sustainability of commercial banks, in particular, assessments of
economic, environmental and social sustainability. Some banks have developed a social and environmental
risk assessment system, a change of management model to integrate ESMS into credit extension. The
majority of banks require projects to have environmental and social impact assessments when providing
funding, while others require immigration, etc. However, sustainable development is uneven. Among banks,
many banks still do not have an ESMS system to assess E&S risk of customers. There are no banks that have
developed in a sustainable banking model. In addition, sustainable financial products are not diversified.
Research has surveyed 250 managers of commercial banks. The results of the study show that banks are
interested in and committed to sustainable development, but there are many obstacles in the implementation
process, including obstacles that need to be resolved quickly. Only with these barriers can the successful
implementation of a safe, effective and sustainable development strategy for the commercial banking system,
such as the completion of a legal framework for sustainable development, improve quality human resources
and capacity building, and improvement of environmental and social risk management systems.
Based on the results of the situation analysis as well as the assessment of the sustainable development of
commercial banks in Vietnam, the dissertation proposes solutions for the sustainable development of
Vietnam's commercial banking in line with the trend of international integration. Firstly, commercial banks
needs to improve consistently and soundly, including raising capital adequacy to protect shareholders,
investors and customers, and improving the quality of their assets and improving operational efficiency.
Secondly, complete the ESMS system consists of three stages: the first building internal environmental
management system, the second environmental and social risk management in the lending and investment
activities, providing sustainable financial products. In addition, the dissertation proposes to the bank's
stakeholders such as the Government, relevant ministries, the State Bank of Vietnam, commercial banks and
customers to implement the proposed solutions in the most effectively.