Legal update relating to Finance and Credit (Monthly Legal Update – 01/2024)

LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE ISSUED IN 12/2023

1. Circular No. 15/2023/TT-NHNN regulating credit information activities of the State Bank of Vietnam

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 15/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 05/12/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam regulating credit information activities of the State Bank of Vietnam (referred to as the “Circular No. 15/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 01/01/2025.

The content should be noted: Stipulating on rights and obligations of credit institutions.

Specifically, Article 16 of Circular No. 15/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates: “Article 16. Rights and obligations of credit institutions

  1. Establish an information infrastructure to meet the requirements of data creation and control of data provided to CIC; promulgate internal regulations and manage the credit information criteria system throughout the system.
  2. Pay in full and on time the fees for exploiting and using credit information services according to the contract signed with CIC.
  3. Send officials and employees to participate in credit information training courses organized or coordinated by CIC.
  4. Implement other rights and obligations as agreed with CIC and relevant provisions of law.”

2. Decision No. 2345/QD-NHNN on implementing safe and secure solutions in online payments and bank card payments

  • Name of legal document: Decision No. 2345/QD-NHNN issued on 18/12/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam on implementing safe and secure solutions in online payments and bank card payments (referred to as the “Decision No. 2345/QD-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 01/01/2025.

The content should be noted: Stipulating on applying authentication methods to online payment.

Specifically, Article 1 of Circular No. Decision No. 2345/QD-NHNN stipulates: “Article 1. Credit institutions, foreign bank branches (FBBs), organizations providing payment services shall, in accordance with the categorization in Appendix 01 hereof, apply authentication methods to online payment (internet banking, mobile banking) as follows:

No. Transaction1 Minimum authentication methods2
Individual customers Organization customers
1 Category A transactions – Username, password or PIN (if a customer has been authenticated during log-in, authentication is not required during transaction) – Username, password or PIN (if a customer has been authenticated during log-in, authentication is not required during transaction)
2 Category B transactions

– OTP sent by SMS or Voice or Email; or

– OTP Matrix Card; or

– Basic OTP generated by soft/hard token; or

– Two-factor authentication method; or

– The customer’s handheld device3, or

– Advanced OTP generated by soft/hard token; or

– FIDO Authentication; or

– Safe electronic signature.

– OTP sent by SMS or Voice or Email; or

– OTP Matrix Card; or

– Basic OTP token without authentication of token user; or

– Handheld device biometrics of the customer’s legal representative or accountant 3.

3 Category C transactions

– The customer’s biometric identifier that: (i) matches the biometric data in the customer’s ID card issued by the police authority4; or (ii) is authenticated by the customer’s electronic identification account created by the electronic identification and authentication system5; or

– The customer’s biometric identifier that matches the customer’s biometric data in the biometric database6. It is recommended to combine with SMS/Voice OTP or OTP generated by soft/hard token.

– Basic OTP soft/hard token with authentication of software/token user; or

– Two-factor authentication method.

4 Category D transactions

The customer’s biometric identifier that: (i) matches the biometric data in the customer’s ID card issued by the police authority4; or (ii) is authenticated by the customer’s electronic identification account created by the electronic identification and authentication system; or (iii) matches the biometric data stored in the verified biometric database6, combined with one of the following authentication methods:

– Advanced OTP generated by soft/hard token; or

– FIDO authentication; or

– Safe electronic signature.

– Advanced OTP generated by soft/hard token; or

– FIDO authentication; or

– Safe electronic signature.

Notes:

– Authentication methods of Category A, B, C transactions can be applied to Category D transactions.

– Authentication methods of Category A, B transactions can be applied to Category C transactions.

– Authentication methods of Category A transactions can be applied to Category B transactions.

– Units that apply authentication methods other than the methods specified above shall send written reports to State Bank of Vietnam (via Information Technology Department) at least 03 months before application.”

3. Circular No. 17/2023/TT-NHNN regulating inspection of compliance with monetary and banking policies and laws

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 17/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 25/12/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam regulating inspection of compliance with monetary and banking policies and laws (referred to as the “Circular No. 17/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 08/02/2024.

The content should be noted:

  • Firstly, stipulating inspection principles.

Specifically, Article 5 of Circular No. 17/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates: “Article 5. Inspection principles

  1. The inspection is carried out within authority and on the basis of legal regulations.
  2. Inspections are conducted regularly according to plan or unexpectedly.
  3. Ensure accuracy, objectivity, honesty, democracy, timeliness, and effective coordination.
  4. Ensure there is no overlap or duplication of content, time, or inspection objects between inspection activities of inspection units, between inspection activities and inspection activities.

When conducting inspection activities, if overlap or duplication is detected between inspection activities and inspection activities, carry out inspection activities; If overlap or duplication is detected in inspection activities, heads of inspection units shall agree to conduct an inspection.”

  • Secondly, stipulating on inspection objects of the inspection unit.

Specifically, Article 8 of Circular No. 17/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates: “Article 8. Inspection objects of inspection units

  1. The Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency checks the compliance with monetary and banking policies and laws for inspection subjects, including:a) Credit institutions, except for those specified in Points a and c, Clause 3 of this Article;b) Foreign bank branches as assigned by the Governor of the State Bank;c) Organize credit information activities;d) Subjects of inspection by the State Bank branch, inspection and supervision of the State Bank branch if deemed necessary.
  2. The unit under the Bank Inspection and Supervision Agency inspects the inspection subjects specified in Clause 1 of this Article who are the unit’s banking inspection and supervision subjects according to their assigned functions and tasks.
  3. State Bank branches, inspection and supervision of State Bank branches check the observance of policies and laws on currency and banking for subjects of inspection in the province or centrally city where the State Bank branch is headquartered, including:a) People’s Credit Fund;b) Foreign bank branches, except for the subjects specified in Point b, Clause 1 of this Article;c) Branches and transaction offices of credit institutions;d) Representative offices in Vietnam of foreign credit institutions and other foreign organizations with banking activities;e) Organizations with foreign exchange activities and gold trading activities; The organization providing intermediary payment services is not a bank.
  4. Other administrative units under the State Bank inspect the observance of policies and implement legal documents within the scope of their advisory functions and assist the Governor of the State Bank in implementing management of that unit for inspection objects, including:a) Credit institutions, except for those specified in Point a, Clause 3 of this Article;b) Foreign bank branches;c) Organizations with foreign exchange activities and gold trading activities; The organization providing intermediary payment services is not a bank.

5. In case of necessity, inspection units shall carry out inspection on other inspection objects when assigned by the Governor of the State Bank.”

Legal update relating to Finance and Credit (Monthly Legal Update – 11/2023)

LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE ISSUED IN 11/2023

1. Circular No. 20/VBHN-NHNN regulations on licensing and organization and operation of commercial banks, foreign bank branches, representative offices of foreign credit institutions, and other foreign organizations with banking activities in Vietnam

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 20/VBHN-NHNN issued on 10/11/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam regulations on licensing and organization and operation of commercial banks, foreign bank branches, representative offices of foreign credit institutions, and other foreign organizations with banking activities in Vietnam.
  • Consolidation date: 10/11/2023.

The content should be noted: Consolidating the following circulars: Circular No. 40/2011/TT-NHNN dated December 15, 2011 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Circular No. 17/2017/TT-NHNN dated November 20, 2017 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Circular No. 17/2018/TT-NHNN dated August 14, 2018 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Circular No. 28/2018/TT-NHNN dated November 30 2018 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Circular No. 25/2019/TT-NHNN dated December 2, 2019 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Circular No. 28/2021/TT-NHNN dated December 31 December 2021 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, and Circular No. 13/2023/TT-NHNN dated October 31, 2023 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam.

2. Circular No. 21/VBHN-NHNN prescribing application and procedures for approval of changes of commercial banks and foreign bank branches

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 21/VBHN-NHNN issued on 10/11/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing application and procedures for approval of changes of commercial banks and foreign bank branches.
  • Consolidation date: 10/11/2023.

The content should be noted: Consolidating the following circulars: The Circular No. 50/2018/TT-NHNN dated December 31, 2018 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), The Circular No. 06/2022/TT-NHNN dated June 30, 2022 of the SBV’s Governor and The Circular No. 13/2023/TT-NHNN dated October 31, 2023 of the SBV’s Governor.

3. Circular No. 14/2023/TT-NHNN internal control system of non-bank credit institution

  • Name of legal document: Circular 14/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 20/11/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam internal control system of non-bank credit institution (referred to as the “Circular No. 14/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 01/10/2024.

The content should be noted: Stipulating on requirements for internal control system.

Specifically, Article 4 of Circular No. 14/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates:Article 4. Requirements for internal control system

1. The internal control system of a non-bank credit institution shall fulfill the following requirements:

a) Meeting requirements according to regulations of the Law on Credit Institutions;

b) Being appropriate for the scale, conditions and complexity of the non-bank credit institution’s business activities;

c) Having sufficient financial, human and IT resources in order to ensure the internal control system’s effectiveness;

d) Creating and maintaining control culture and work ethics for the non-bank credit institution.

2. The non-bank credit institution shall have internal regulations in compliance with regulations of the Law on Credit Institutions, in which the following requirements shall be met:

a) Being consistent with regulations in this Circular and relevant laws;

b) The Board of Directors or the Council of Members promulgates regulations on the non-bank credit institution ‘s organization, management and activities, except for matters under the competence of the Shareholders’ Council and owner; the Board of Controllers promulgates its own internal regulations; the Director General (Director) promulgates work regulations, processes and procedures (hereinafter referred to as “internal process”);

c) Being subject to regular assessments specified in this Circular and the non-bank credit institution’s regulations on appropriateness of and compliance with the law, and making amendments if necessary.

3. The internal control system shall have three lines of defense as follows:

a) The first line of defense has functions of risk identification, control and minimization carried out by the following departments: business departments (including product development department), other revenue-generating departments; departments responsible for making risk-bearing decisions; departments responsible for risk limit allocation, risk management and risk minimization (affiliated to a business department or an independent department) in each type of transactions and business activities; human resource department, accounting department;

b) The second line of defense has functions of formulation of risk management policies and issuance of internal regulations on risk management and monitoring in accordance with regulations of law, carried out by the following departments: Departments conforming to the regulations in Article 16 of this Circular and risk management department specified in Article 18 of this Circular;

c) The third line of defense has the function of internal audit carried out by the internal audit department specified in the Law on Credit Institutions and this Circular.

4. Discussions and conclusions on the internal control system in meetings held by the Board of Directors, Council of Members, Board of Controllers, Risk Management Committee, and Human Resource Committee shall be recorded in writing, in which agreements and disagreements of members shall be specified.

5. Independent assessment of the internal control system shall be carried out in accordance with the State Bank’s regulations on independent audit in non-bank credit institutions and foreign bank branches.”

Legal update relating to Finance and Credit (Monthly Legal Update – 09/2023)

1.       LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE EFFECTIVE FROM 01/09/2023

Circular No. 10/2023/TT-NHNN suspending the enforceable effect of a number of contents of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers (supplemented in Circular No. 06/2023/TT-NHNN dated June 28, 2023 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam)

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 10/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 23/08/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam suspending the enforceable effect of a number of contents of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers (supplemented in Circular No. 06/2023/TT-NHNN dated June 28, 2023 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam) (referred to as the “Circular No. 10/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 01/09/2023.

The content should be noted: Suspending the enforceable effect of Clause 8, Clause 9 and Clause 10, Article 8 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN.

Specifically, Article 1 of Circular No. 10/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates:Article 1. Suspension of enforceable effect of Clause 8, Clause 9 and Clause 10, Article 8 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers (supplemented in Circular No. 06/2023/TT-NHNN dated June 28, 2023 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam on amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN)[1] from September 1, 2023 until the effective date of the new legal document regulating about these issues.”

2.       LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE ISSUED IN 08/2023

Decision No. 22/2023/QĐ-TTg on credit for people who have completed their prison sentences

  • Name of legal document: Decision No. 22/2023/QĐ-TTg issued on 17/08/2023 by the Prime Minister on credit for people who have completed their prison sentences (referred to as the “Decision No. 22/2023/QĐ-TTg”).
  • Effective date: 10/10/2023.

The content should be noted:

  • Firstly, stipulating on loan objects and conditions.

Specifically, Article 3 of Decision No. 22/2023/QĐ-TTg stipulates:Article 3. Subjects and conditions for borrowing capital

Subjects and conditions for borrowing capital include:

  1. Subjects for borrowing capitala) People who have completely served their prison sentence include people who have completely served their prison sentence and have been granted a certificate of completion of their prison sentence as prescribed in the Law on Execution of Criminal Sentences and people who have been granted special amnesty certificates as prescribed in the Law on Special Amnesty;b) Production and business establishments include small and medium-sized enterprises, cooperatives, artels, and business households that use employees who have completed prison sentences.
  2. Conditions for borrowing capitala) People who have completely served their prison sentence: Having a need for a loan; be on the list of people who have completed their prison sentence and returned to reside in the locality, well obeyed the provisions of law, and did not participate in social evils, drawn up by the Commune Police and certified by the People’s Committe according to the Form No. 01 attached to this Decision. The maximum time from serving the prison sentence to the time of borrowing capital is 05 years;b) Production and business establishments: Legally established and operating according to the provisions of law; Employ at least 10% of the total number of employees who have completed their prison sentences and meet the conditions stated in Point a of this Clause and sign labor contracts according to the provisions of labor law; have a loan plan and have it certified by the Commune People’s Committee where the plan is implemented according to Form No. 02 attached to this Decision.
  3. People who have completed their prison sentences and production and business establishments specified in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article must have no outstanding debt at the Bank for Social Policies for other credit programs with for the same purpose of using loan capital for vocational training, production, business, and job creation in accordance with the law.”
  • Secondly, stipulating on loan capital amount.

Specifically, Article 6 of Decision No. 22/2023/QĐ-TTg stipulates: Article 6. Loan capital amount

  1. For loans for vocational training

    The maximum loan capital is 04 million VND/month/person who has completed their prison sentence.

  1. For loans for production, business, and job creationa) People who have completed their prison sentence: The maximum loan capital is 100 million VND/person who has completed their prison sentence;

b) Production and business establishments: Maximum loan capital is 02 billion VND/project and not more than 100 million VND/employee at the production and business establishment.”

[1] Article 8 of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN supplemented in Circular No. 06/2023/TT-NHNN: Article 1. Amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

  1. To amend and supplement Article 8 as follows:

“Article 8: Rejected loan demands

Credit institutions shall not be allowed to approve the following loan demands:

  1. Loans used for doing business or investing in sectors or activities prohibited by the Investment Law.
  2. Loans used for paying expenses or meeting financial demands of business or investment in sectors or activities prohibited by the Investment Law and other transactions or activities prohibited by laws.
  3. Loans used for purchasing or using goods or services in the list of prohibited sectors and activities under the Investment Law.
  4. Loans used for buying gold bullion.
  5. Loans used for repaying loan debts owed to lending credit institutions, except those used for paying loan interests arising during the construction process which are accounted for in the total construction cost estimate approved by a competent authority in accordance with regulations of law.
  6. Loans used for repaying foreign loan debts (excluding foreign loans granted in the form of deferred payment for purchased goods) or repaying loan debts owed to other credit institutions, except for a loan used for making early repayment of an existing loan that meets the following conditions: a) The term of the new loan does not exceed the remaining term of the old one; b) The old loan has not yet undergone any debt rescheduling.
  7. Loans used for sending money to deposit accounts.
  8. Loans used for making capital contribution to, buying or receiving transfer of stakes of a limited liability company or a partnership, or shares of a joint-stock company that is not yet listed on the securities market or registered for trading on the Upcom system.
  9. Loans used for making capital contributions under capital contribution contracts, investment cooperation contracts or business cooperation contracts for executing investment projects that are unfit for sale or for business operation as prescribed by laws when the credit institution issues its lending decision.
  10. Loans used for financial offsetting purposes, except for those meeting the following conditions: a) The customer has used their own funds for paying costs incurred from their business project for a period of less than 12 months by the time of grant of lending decision by the credit institution; b) Costs paid using the customer’s funds for executing a business project are costs to be covered using the fund borrowed from the credit institution under the plan to use borrowed fund submitted to the credit institution when applying for a medium-term or long-term loan for executing that business project.”.”

Legal update relating to Finance and Credit (Monthly Legal Update – 08/2023)

1. LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE EFFECTIVE FROM 01/08/2023

Circular No. 08/2023/TT-NHNN prescribing eligibility requirements for foreign loans without Government’s guarantee

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 08/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 30/06/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing eligibility requirements for foreign loans without Government’s guarantee (referred to as the “Circular No. 08/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 15/08/2023.

The content should be noted:

  • Firstly, loan purposes of the borrowers that are credit instututions or foreign bank branches.

Specifically, Article 14 of Circular No. 08/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates:Article 14. Loan purposes

  1. Short-term and medium/long-term foreign loans are used for:a) increasing the borrower’s funding for credit extension activities to meet its credit growth target;b) restructuring the borrower’s foreign debts;
  2. When applying for a medium/long-term foreign loan, the borrower shall be required to prove its loan purposes by presenting:a) The plan for use of foreign loan capital as prescribed in Clause 2 Article 7 of this Circular if the loan is used for the purpose defined in Point a Clause 1 of this Article; orb) The debt restructuring plan as prescribed in Article 8 of this Circular if the loan is used for the purpose defined in Point b Clause 1 of this Article.”
  • Secondly, limit on short-term foreign loans of the borrowers that are credit instututions or foreign bank branches.

Specifically, Article 15 of Circular No. 08/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates: Article 15. Limit on short-term foreign loans

A borrower may apply for a short-term foreign loan if it meets the limit on short-term foreign loans as at December 31 of the year preceding the year in which the loan application is submitted. The limit on short-term foreign loans is the maximum ratio of total outstanding principal of short-term foreign loans to standalone equity, and shall not exceed:

  1. 30% if the borrower is a commercial bank; or
  2. 150% if the borrower is a FBB or another credit institution.”

2. LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE ISSUED IN 07/2023

2.1. Circular No. 18/VBHN-NHNN prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 18/VBHN-NHNN issued on 12/07/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers.
  • Effective date: 12/07/2023.

The content should be noted: Consolidating the Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers, effective from March 15, 2017, and Circular No. 06/2023/TT-NHNN dated June 28, 2023 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers, effective from September 1, 2023.

2.2. Circular No. 09/2023/TT-NHNN instructing for implementation of some articles of the Law on Anti-Money Laundering

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 09/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 28/07/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam instructing for implementation of some articles of the Law on Anti-Money Laundering (referred to as the “Circular No. 09/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 28/07/2023.

The content should be noted: Stipulating suspicious transaction reporting regime.

Specifically, Article 7 of Circular No. 09/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates:Article 7. Suspicious transaction reporting regime

  1. The reporting object is responsible for reporting to the agency performing the function and task of preventing and combating money laundering when detecting suspicious transactions as prescribed in Article 26 of the Law on Anti-Money Laundering. The report shall be made in writing in accordance with Appendix II issued together with this Circular or by electronic data when a compatible information technology system is established for reporting electronic data as prescribed in Clause 1, Article 10 of this Circular and not in the case of reporting to other competent state agencies as prescribed in Clause 3, Article 37 of the Law on Anti-Money Laundering.
  2. The reporting of suspicious transactions according to the provisions of Article 26 of the Law on Anti-Money Laundering does not depend on the amount of transaction money of the customer, whether the transaction has been completed or not.
  3. Agencies performing anti-money laundering functions and tasks are responsible for confirming receipt of suspicious transaction reports by sending an email to an individual’s or ministry’s email address or department as prescribed at Point b, Clause 9, Article 5 of this Circular or in writing within 05 working days from the date of receipt of the suspicious transaction report; exchange with the subject reporting the arising problems (if any).

…”

Legal update relating to Finance and Credit (Monthly Legal Update – 07/2023)

1. LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE EFFECTIVE FROM 01/07/2023

1.1.  Decree No. 13/2023/ND-CP protection of personal data

  • Name of legal document: Decree 13/2023/ND-CP issued on 17/04/2023 by the Government protection of personal data (referred to as the “Decree No. 13/2023/ND-CP”).
  • Effective date: 01/07/2023.

The content should be noted: Duties for credit institutions.

Specifically, Article 3 of Decree No. 13/2023/ND-CP stipulates: Article 3. Rules for protection of personal data

  1. The personal data shall be processed as prescribed by law.
  2. The data subject shall be entitled to receive information related to the processing of his/her personal data, unless otherwise provided for by law.
  3. The personal data shall be processed for the purposes that have been registered and declared by the Personal Data Controller, the Personal Data Processor, the Personal Data Controller-cum-Processor and the Third Party.
  4. The collected personal data shall be appropriate for the scope and purposes of processing. The purchase or sale of personal data shall be prohibited in any form, unless otherwise provided for by law.
  5. The personal data shall be updated and added for the processing purposes.
  6. The personal data shall be protected and secured throughout the processing. To be specific, the personal data shall be protected from violations against regulations on protection of personal data and prevention of loss, destruction or damage caused by incidents and use of technical measures.
  7. The personal data shall be stored within a period of time that is appropriate for the processing purposes, unless otherwise provided for by law.
  8. The Personal Data Controller and the Personal Data Controller-cum-Processor shall comply with the rules for data processing specified in Clauses 1 through 7 of this Article and prove their compliance.”

1.2.  Circular No. 06/2023/TT-NHNN amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers

  • Name of legal document: Circular No. 06/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 28/06/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 of the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing lending transactions of credit institutions and/or foreign bank branches with customers (referred to as the “Circular No. 06/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 01/09/2023.

The content should be noted: Rejected loan demands.

Specifically, Article 6 of Circular No. 17/2022/TT-NHNN stipulates:“Article 1. Amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN

  1. To amend and supplement Article 8 as follows:

“Article 8. Rejected loan demands

Credit institutions shall not be allowed to approve the following loan demands:

  1. To carry out business investment activities in bussiness lines banned from investment and business in accordance with the Law on Investment.
  2. To pay expenses and meet the financial needs of business investment activities in bussiness lines banned from investment and business in accordance with the Law on Investment and other transactions and acts prohibited by laws.
  3. To purchase and use goods and services in bussiness lines banned from investment and business in accordance with the Law on Investment.
  4. To buy gold bars.
  5. To repay the loan at the lending credit institution, except for the case of lending to pay the loan interest arising during the construction process, the interest expense is calculated in total construction investment approved by competent authorities in accordance with laws.
  6. To repay foreign loans (excluding foreign loans in the form of goods purchase and sale with deferred payment), credit extension at other credit institutions, except for loans to repay loans before maturity. The loan fully meets the following conditions:a) The loan term does not exceed the remaining loan term of the old loan;b) It is a loan that has not yet been restructured.
  7. To send money.
  8. To pay for capital contribution, purchase, receive and transfer capital contributions of limited liability companies or partnerships; contribute capital, purchase, receive and transfer shares of joint stock companies that have not been listed on the stock market or have not been registered for trading on the Upcom trading system.
  9. To pay the capital contribution under the capital contribution contract, investment cooperation contract or business cooperation contract for the implementation of an investment project that is not eligible to be put into business as prescribed by law at that time credit institutions decide to lend.
  10. For financial compensation, unless the loan fully meets the following conditions:a) The customer has advanced the customer’s own capital to pay and pay the cost of implementing the business project, which the costs of implementing this business project have been incurred less than 12 months up to the time credit institutions decide to lend;b) Expenses paid and paid with the customer’s own capital in order to carry out the business project are the expenses using the loan source of the credit institution according to the capital use plan sent to the credit institutions to be considered for medium and long-term loans to carry out that business project.””

2. LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE ISSUED IN 06/2023

2.1. Decision No. 1123/QĐ-NHNN refinancing interest rate, re-discount interest rate, interest rate on overnight loans in interbank electronic payment and loans for making up fund deficits in clearing payment given by the State Bank of Vietnam to credit institutions and foreign bank branches

  • Name of legal document: Decision No. 1123/QĐ-NHNN issued on 16/06/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam refinancing interest rate, re-discount interest rate, interest rate on overnight loans in interbank electronic payment and loans for making up fund deficits in clearing payment given by the State Bank of Vietnam to credit institutions and foreign bank branches (referred to as the “Decision No. 1123/QĐ-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 19/06/2023.

The content should be noted: The interest rates are adopted by the State Bank of Vietnam.

Specifically, Article 1 of Decision No. 1123/QĐ-NHNN stipulates:Article 1. The following interest rates are adopted by the State Bank of Vietnam, including:

  1. Refinancing interest rate: 4,5%/year.
  2. Re-discount interest rate: 3,0%/year.
  3. Interest rate on overnight loans in interbank electronic payment and loans for making up fund deficits in clearing payment given by the State Bank of Vietnam to credit Institutions and foreign bank branches: 5,0%/year.”

2.2. Decision No. 1124/QĐ-NHNN on maximum interest rates of deposits in Vietnam Dong of organizations and individuals at credit institutions and foreign bank branches according to Circular No. 07/2014/TT-NHNN dated March 17, 2014

  • Name of legal document: Decision No. 1124/QĐ-NHNN issued on 16/06/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam on maximum interest rates of deposits in Vietnam Dong of organizations and individuals at credit institutions and foreign bank branches according to Circular No. 07/2014/TT-NHNNdated March 17, 2014 (referred to as the “Decision No. 1124/QĐ-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 19/06/2023.

The content should be noted: Maximum interest rates of deposits in Vietnam Dong (VND) of organizations and individuals at credit institutions and foreign banks branches according to Circular No. 07/2014/TT-NHNN.

Specifically, Article 1 of Decision No. 1124/QĐ-NHNN stipulates:Article 1. Maximum interest rates of deposits in Vietnam Dong (VND) of organizations (except credit institutions and foreign bank branches) and individuals at credit institutions and foreign banks branches according to Circular No. 07/2014/TT-NHNN dated March 17, 2014 are as follows:

  1. The maximum interest rate of demand deposits and deposits with a term less than 1 month is 0,5%/year.
  2. The maximum interest rate of deposits with a term from 1 month to less than 6 months is 4,75%/year. Particularly, people’s credit funds and microfinance institutions shall apply the maximum interest rate of 5,25%/year with respect to deposits with a term from 1 month to less than 6 months.”

2.3. Decision No. 1125/QĐ-NHNN prescribing maximum interest rates of short-term loans in Vietnamese Dong granted by credit institutions and foreign bank branches to meet borrowers’ funding demand in certain business sectors according to Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016

  • Name of legal document: Decision No. 1125/QĐ-NHNN issued on 16/06/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam prescribing maximum interest rates of short-term loans in Vietnamese Dong granted by credit institutions and foreign bank branches to meet borrowers’ funding demand in certain business sectors according to Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNNdated December 30, 2016 (referred to as the “Decision No. 1125/QĐ-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 19/06/2023.

The content should be noted: Maximum interest rates of short-term loans in Vietnamese Dong (VND) according to Clause 2 Article 13 of the Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN.

Specifically, Article 1 of Decision No. 1125/QĐ-NHNN stipulates:Article 1. Maximum interest rates of short-term loans in Vietnamese Dong (VND) according to Clause 2 Article 13 of the Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN dated December 30, 2016 are as follows:

  1. Credit institutions and foreign bank branches (except for People’s Credit Funds and microfinance institutions) shall grant short-term loans in VND with the maximum interest rate of 4,0%/year.
  2. People’s Credit Funds and microfinance institutions shall grant short-term loans in VND with the maximum interest rate of 5,0%/year.”

2.4. Official Letter No. 2535/TCT-TTKT on strengthen coordination in tax administration

  • Name of document: Official Letter 2535/TCT-TTKT issued on 21/06/2023 by the General Department of Taxation on strengthen coordination in tax administration (referred to as the “Official Letter No. 2535/TCT-TTKT”).

The content should be noted: Providing information on transactions through accounts, account balances, transaction data.

Specifically, Section 1 of Official Letter No. 2535/TCT-TTKT stipulates:1. About providing information on transactions through accounts, account balances, transaction data.

– Commercial banks and other credit institutions provide information on transactions through accounts, account balances and transaction data at the request of the Director of Taxation Department for purposes of inspection, examination, determine the tax payable and take measures to enforce the administrative decision on tax administration in accordance with the tax law, within 10 working days from the date of receipt of the written request of the tax authority. In case commercial banks and other credit institutions fail to provide data at the request of tax administration authorities, they will be administratively sanctioned as prescribed in Article 19 of Decree No. 125/2020/ND-CP dated October 19, 2020 of the Government on penalties for administrative violations on taxes and invoices.

– Tax Departments, upon request for information, shall send documents to the Head Office of commercial banks and other credit institutions for implementation. The requested content needs to be complete and detailed with identification information and content for commercial banks and other credit institutions to implement. For complicated and important matters, it is possible to organize a meeting between the Tax Department and commercial banks and other credit institutions; or coordinate and work with the Tax Department to directly manage such commercial banks and other credit institutions in accordance with law. Tax Departments that directly manage commercial banks and other credit institutions are responsible for coordinating with Tax Departments upon request.

– Tax Departments are responsible for keeping information confidential, using information for the right purposes and taking full responsibility for the safety of information in accordance with the Law on Tax Administration and relevant laws.”

Legal update relating to Finance and Credit (Monthly Legal Update – 05&06/2023)

1. LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE EFFECTIVE FROM 01/05/2023

1.1. Directive No. 02/CT-NHNN on strengthening credit work and implementing the policy of rescheduling debt repayment and maintaining the same debt group in order to support customers in difficulty as prescribed in Circular 02/2023/ TT-NHNN April 23, 2023

  • Name of legal document: Directive No. 02/CT-NHNN issued on 23/05/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam on strengthening credit work and implementing the policy of rescheduling debt repayment and maintaining the same debt group in order to support customers in difficulty as prescribed in Circular 02/2023/ TT-NHNN April 23, 2023 (referred to as the “Directive No. 02/CT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 23/05/2023.

The content should be noted: Duties for credit institutions.

Specifically, Section IV of Directive No. 02/CT-NHNN stipulates: IV. FOR CREDIT INSTITUTIONS

  1. Continue to effectively implement Directive 01/CT-NHNN dated January 17, 2023 of the Governor of the State Bank on organizing the implementation of key tasks of the banking industry in 2023; which focuses on implementing safe and effective credit growth solutions, improving credit quality, controlling and handling bad debts.
  2. Continue to reduce costs to reduce lending interest rates, reduce fees to support businesses and people to recover and develop production and business.
  3. Actively implement credit programs and policies for a number of sectors and fields under the direction of the Government and the Prime Minister; including a credit package of VND 120,000 billion for investors and homebuyers of social housing projects, worker housing, renovation and reconstruction projects of old apartment buildings according to Resolution 33/NQ-CP dated 11/3/2023 of the Government; implemented with the utmost determination the interest rate support program from the state budget for loans of enterprises, cooperatives and business households according to Decree 31/2022/ND-CP, without letting any an enterprise, cooperative or business household that is subject to interest rate support and has a need but is not supported in a timely manner.
  4. Accelerating the effective implementation of the Bank-enterprise connection program; promptly implement solutions to remove difficulties and create favorable conditions for people and businesses to access credit capital.
  5. Regarding the implementation of Circular 02/2023/TT-NHNN:

– Expeditiously promulgate and immediately implement internal regulations on rescheduling debt repayment and keeping the same debt group as prescribed in Circular 02/2023/TT-NHNN. It is strictly forbidden to act causing difficulties or troubles, or to issue additional conditions and procedures other than those prescribed in Circular No. 02/2023/TT-NHNN.

– The Chairman of the Board of Members/Board of Directors, the General Director of credit institutions directly directs the implementation of restructuring the repayment term and maintaining the debt group according to Circular 02/2023/TT – The State Bank and take responsibility before the Governor of the State Bank for the implementation results; take measures to strictly handle units and individuals that deploy slowly, deliberately cause difficulties, irresponsibly, and do not comply with regulations.

– Promote communication and publicity on dossiers and procedures for rescheduling debt repayment and keeping the debt group intact so that customers can grasp information, properly understand and fully understand the policy; promptly respond to problems related to documents and procedures for customers, create favorable conditions to support customers to complete dossiers, get early access to support policies.

– To organize the implementation of the policy of restructuring the debt repayment term, keeping the debt group unchanged in accordance with regulations; closely supervise, safely, prevent and stop taking advantage of debt rescheduling and maintaining debt groups to collude and take advantage of policies.
– Classify debts, make provision for risks and record accrued interest in accordance with law.

– Timely and fully report on the results of restructuring the repayment term and keeping the debt group unchanged in accordance with the regulations and guidance of the State Bank.

– Proactively handle difficulties and problems in the system and promptly report and propose to the State Bank, ministries, branches and People’s Committees of provinces and cities to take measures to handle difficulties and problems beyond their competence in the implementation process.”

1.2. Decision No. 950/QĐ-NHNN refinancing interest rate, re-discount interest rate, interest rate on overnight loans in interbank electronic payment and loans for making up fund deficits in clearing payment given by the State Bank of Vietnam to credit institutions and foreign bank branches

  • Name of legal document: Decision 950/QĐ-NHNN issued on 23/05/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam refinancing interest rate, re-discount interest rate, interest rate on overnight loans in interbank electronic payment and loans for making up fund deficits in clearing payment given by the State bank of Vietnam to credit institutions and foreign bank branches (referred to as the “Decision No. 950/QĐ-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 25/05/2023.

The content should be noted: The interest rates are adopted by the State Bank of Vietnam.

Specifically, Article 1 of Decision No. 950/QĐ-NHNN stipulates:Article 1. The following interest rates are adopted by the State Bank of Vietnam, including:

  1. Refinancing interest rate: 5,0%/year.
  2. Re-discount interest rate: 3,5%/year.
  3. Interest rate on overnight loans in interbank electronic payment and loans for making up fund deficits in clearing payment given by the State Bank of Vietnam to credit Institutions and foreign bank branches: 5,5%/year.”

1.3. Decision No. 951/QĐ-NHNN on maximum interest rates of deposits in Vietnam Dong of organizations and individuals at credit institutions and foreign bank branches according to Circular No. 07/2014/TT-NHNN dated March 17, 2014

  • Name of legal document: Decision 951/QĐ-NHNN issued on 23/05/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam on maximum interest rates of deposits in Vietnam Dong of organizations and individuals at credit institutions and foreign bank branches according to Circular No. 07/2014/TT-NHNNdated March 17, 2014 (referred to as the “Decision No. 951/QĐ-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 25/05/2023.

The content should be noted: Maximum interest rates of deposits in Vietnam Dong (VND) of organizations and individuals at credit institutions and foreign banks branches according to Circular No. 07/2014/TT-NHNN dated March 17, 2014.

Specifically, Article 1 of Decision No. 951/QĐ-NHNN stipulates: “Article 1. Maximum interest rates of deposits in Vietnam Dong (VND) of organizations (except credit institutions and foreign bank branches) and individuals at credit institutions and foreign banks branches according to Circular No. 07/2014/TT-NHNN dated March 17, 2014 are as follows:

  1. The maximum interest rate of demand deposits and deposits with a term less than 1 month is 0,5%/year.
  2. The maximum interest rate of deposits with a term from 1 month to less than 6 months is 5,0%/year. Particularly, people’s credit funds and microfinance institutions shall apply the maximum interest rate of 5,5%/year with respect to deposits with a term from 1 month to less than 6 months.”

1.4. Circular No. 17/2022/TT-NHNN providing guidelines on environmental risk management in credit extension by credit institutions and foreign bank branches

  • Name of legal document: Circular 17/2022/TT-NHNN issued on 23/12/2022 by the State Bank of Vietnam providing guidelines on environmental risk management in credit extension by credit institutions and foreign bank branches (referred to as the “Circular No. 17/2022/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 01/06/2023.

The content should be noted: Internal regulations on environmental risk management in extending credit.

Specifically, Article 6 of Circular No. 17/2022/TT-NHNN stipulates:Article 6. Internal regulations on environmental risk management in extending credit

  1. Each credit institution shall formulate its own internal regulations on environmental risk management in extending credit which may be separated from or included in its internal regulations on credit extension and internal control, and must be conformable with regulations of law on credit extension and credit risk management.
  2. Internal regulations on environmental risk management in extending credit of a credit institution shall, inter alia, have the following contents:
  3. a) Identification and classification of applications for credit extension which require environmental risk assessment in extending credit;
  4. b) Information to be collected to serve the environmental risk management in extending credit;
  5. c) Environmental risk assessment in extending credit that is carried out in conformity with the provisions of this Circular;
  6. d) Environmental risk management in extending credit during the consideration, appraisal, approval and management of credit amounts extended;
  7. dd) Internal reporting on environmental risk management in extending credit.”

2. LEGAL DOCUMENTS ARE ISSUED IN 03/2023

2.1. Circular No. 02/2023/TT-NHNN providing instructions for credit institutions and foreign branch banks on debt rescheduling and retention of debt category to assist borrowers in difficulties

  • Name of legal document: Circular 02/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 23/04/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam providing instructions for credit institutions and foreign branch banks on debt rescheduling and retention of debt category to assist borrowers in difficulties (referred to as the “Circular No. 02/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 24/04/2023.

The content should be noted:

  • Firstly, stipulating on debt rescheduling.

Specifically, Article 4 of Circular No. 02/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates: Article 4. Debt rescheduling

A credit institution or foreign branch banks may consider rescheduling outstanding debt, including the principal and/or interest (including the debts regulated by the Government’s Decree No. 55/2015/ND-CP dated June 09, 2015 on credit policies serving development of agriculture and rural areas (with amendments)) on the basis of borrowers’ requests, its financial capacity and compliance with the following regulations:

  1. The outstanding debt is principal of a loan or finance lease granted before the effective date of this Circular, and from lending and finance lease.
  2. The principal and/or interest have to be paid within the period from the effective date of this Circular to June 30, 2024 inclusive.
  3. The outstanding debt to be rescheduled is undue or up to 10 (ten) days overdue according to the loan/finance lease agreement.
  4. The credit institution or foreign branch banks determines that the borrower is unable to repay the principal and/or interest on schedule under the signed agreement due to decrease in revenue or income compared to that specified in the principal and/or interest repayment plan under the signed agreement.
  5. The credit institution or foreign branch banks determines that the borrower is able to fully repay the principal and/or interest after the debt is rescheduled.
  6. Debts that violate regulations of law shall not be rescheduled.
  7. Rescheduling time (including repayment deadline extension) shall vary according to the degree of difficulty facing the borrower and shall not exceed 12 months from the due date of the outstanding debt to be rescheduled.
  8. Debt rescheduling under regulations of this Circular shall be carried out from the effective date of this Circular to June 30, 2024 inclusive.”
  • Secondly, stipulating on retention of debt category and debt classification.

Specifically, Article 5 of Circular No. 02/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates:Article 5. Retention of debt category and debt classification

  1. Credit institutions and Foreign branch banks may retain the debt categories with respect to the debt whose principal and/or interest has been rescheduled (hereinafter referred to as “rescheduled debt”) under regulations of this Circular in the same manner as the debt categories that have been assigned in accordance with SBV Governor’s regulations on classification of assets, rates and methods of making loan loss provision and use of loan loss provision for handling of risks arising from operations of credit institutions and Foreign branch banks at the nearest time before prior to the debt rescheduling according to regulation of this Circular.
  2. After debt rescheduling and retention of debt categories are carried out as prescribed in clause 1 of this Article within the time limit for rescheduling, credit institutions and Foreign branch banks are not required to put these debts into a higher-risk category according to SBV Governor’s regulations on classification of assets, rates and methods of making loan loss provision and use of loan loss provision for handling of risks arising from operations of credit institutions and Foreign branch banks.
  3. If the outstanding debts after rescheduling and retention of debt categories prescribed in clause 1 of this Article are not granted another debt rescheduling by the credit institution or foreign branch banks according to regulations of this circular, the credit institution or foreign branch banks shall carry out debt classification in accordance with SBV Governor’s regulations on classification of assets, rates and methods of making loan loss provision and use of loan loss provision for handling of risks arising from operations of credit institutions and Foreign branch banks.
  4. From the rescheduling date, credit institutions and foreign branch banks shall not record the interests on the outstanding debts that are rescheduled and debts that remain current non-performing loans (Category 1) as prescribed in this Circular as revenue (estimated). Instead, they shall be monitored off-balance sheet and recorded as revenue when they are collected in accordance with regulations of law on financial regimes applicable to credit institutions and foreign branch banks.”

2.2. Circular No. 03/2023/TT-NHNN providing on ceasing the implementation effective of Clause 11 Article 4 Circular No. 16/2021/TT-NHNN date November 10, 2021 of the Governer of the State bank of Vietnam on corporate bond trading of credit institutions and branches of foreign banks

  • Name of legal document: Circular 03/2023/TT-NHNN issued on 23/04/2023 by the State Bank of Vietnam providing on ceasing the implementation effective of Clause 11 Article 4 Circular No. 16/2021/TT-NHNN date November 10, 2021 of the Governer of the State bank of Vietnam on corporate bond trading of credit institutions and branches of foreign banks (referred to as the “Circular No. 02/2023/TT-NHNN”).
  • Effective date: 24/04/2023.

The content should be noted: Stipualting on cessation of effect from April 24, 2023 to the end of December 31, 2023 for the provisions of Clause 11 Article 4 of Circular No. 16/2021/TT-NHNN.

Specifically, Article 1 of Circular No. 03/2023/TT-NHNN stipulates:Article 1. Cessation of effect from April 24, 2023 to the end of December 31, 2023 for the provisions of Clause 11 Article 4 of Circular No. 16/2021/TT-NHNN.

During the cessation period of Clause 11 Article 4 of Circular No. 16/2021/TT-NHNN as prescribed in this Article, credit institutions, foreign bank branches (hereinafter referred to as credit institutions) may redeem corporate bonds that have not been listed on the stock market or have not been registered for trading on the Upcom trading system (hereinafter referred to as unlisted corporate bonds) that have been sold by a credit institution and/or Unlisted corporate bonds may be issued in the same lot/phrase as unlisted corporate bonds sold by a credit institution when:

  1. a) Satisfy the provisions of Article 4 of Circular No. 16/2021/TT-NHNN;
  2. b) The buyer of this corporate bond from a credit institution shall pay the entire amount of the purchase of corporate bonds at the time the credit institution signs a contract to sell corporate bonds to the bond buyer;

c) The bond issuer is rated at the highest level according to the credit institution’s internal credit rating regulations at the latest time before the credit institution purchases corporate bonds.”

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