[1 February 2018] - The Vietnamese microfinance industry consists of formal credit institutions such as the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (VBARD), the Vietnam Co-operative Bank/PCFs, MFIs, and a few commercial banks that offer some microfinance products.
The Co-op Bank was established in June 2013 as the successor of the Central Credit Fund (CCF). Its main functions include managing funds, reserves, and providing PCFs with banking products and consulting services. The Co-op Bank employs about 2,000 people. PCFs are mainly situated in rural areas. They are currently present in over 1,100 villages and have about 1.7 million members. PCFs lend on commercial terms, and each PCF operates internally among its members in terms of both savings and loans. At least 50% of PCF members are considered poor. The VAPCF is the professional organization of PCFs that was established in 2005. Its main responsibilities are to represent PCFs' interests, to promote co-operation, and to focus on training activities for about 10,000 PCF staff members. The Government of Vietnam has stepped up the efforts to restructure CoopBank and to ensure that it plays more efficiently the role of an apex institution of the PCF network in Vietnam.
Under the framework of the ADB funded TA-8391 VIE Project “Strengthening microfinance sector operations and supervision”, the State Bank of Vietnam, AFC Consultants International and Economica Vietnam joined hands joined to organize a workshop on “International Practices about the Roles of PCFs Apex institutions, Correspondent Banking and Safety Fund functions developments”.
The purpose of the workshop is to improve the awareness and understanding about the good practices on the roles and function of the apex agency in a credit cooperative, credit union system, the functions of the apex body in correspondent banking and safety fund and the implications for the development of the PCF system in Vietnam. Experts from AFC Consultants International shared the experience of the apex institution of the Cooperative Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken (Local Cooperative Banks) Network in Germany. The Project “Strengthening The People’s Credit Funds Network – STEP”, a project implemented by Développement international Desjardins (DID) and targeting CoopBank as the main beneficiary, also contributed experience of the evolution of the Caisse Centrale – the apex institution of the caisses in the Desjardins Group. CoopBank representative also shared the development of the institution and its efforts to play better the role as apex body of the PCF network in Vietnam.
Participating in the workshop were 80 participants from various departments of Banking Supervisory Agency (BSA) of the State Bank of Vietnam, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, National Financial Supervision Commission, Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, Vietnam Deposit Insurance, CoopBank, PCFs and various international donors.