Vietnam Considers Ban on Foreign Bank Accounts
Vietnam’s state bank (SBV) has published a draft circular which looks set to limit the ability of foreign nationals to open and deposit within Vietnamese bank accounts. With significant interest rate differentials on the side of investors, as well as a healthy appetite for capital on the part of many governing officials, the announcement has naturally been met with mixed reactions.
Understanding Banking Limitations
Under the draft circular, it is stated that “depositors of Vietnamese and foreign currencies” would be open to Vietnamese citizens. While not explicitly banning foreigners, the specific nature of the regulation does bring into question the prevailing state of affairs with regard to banking within the country. Currently, given the proper documentation – usually a passport and valid visa – foreign nationals are permitted to open and operate vietnamese bank accounts. However, in recent years, the operation of these accounts has seen increased regulation. As per a decree released in 2014, foreign accounts have been restricted to denomination in Vietnamese Dong. It is feared that the omission of foreign nationals under the latest draft Circular would effectively end the ability of foreign nationals to deposit within the country all together.
Assessing Impacts on Investment
For those investing and working within Vietnam, the relatively high interest rates currently available to investors, coupled with the Dong’s stability in recent years, makes holding money within the country an investment of its own. Interest rates currently stand at 6.5 percent on the national level, and thus foreign nationals holding assets within Vietnamese bank accounts are likely to reap the benefit of rate differential between Vietnam and their home market. The chart below outlines the extent of the advantages available for various markets.
In the event that a ban on foreign deposits is imposed, many investors currently taking advantage of this opportunity would be forced to turn elsewhere to house liquid assets. While the extent of foreign holdings in the Vietnamese banking system is opaque, resulting outflows of capital could certainly put downward pressure on the VND, temporarily opening opportunities for FDI.
Impacts on Investment
From both a personal and corporate perspective, the future of the draft Circular should be watched closely. It is likely that additional guidance on aspects of the ban will become clear in the coming months as officials flesh out their intentions and outline plans for implementation. For more information on aspects of the ban or in depth analysis on banking within Vietnam, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at www.dezshira.com
Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email email@example.com or visit www.dezshira.com.
Stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends in Asia by subscribing to our complimentary update service featuring news, commentary and regulatory insight.
Annual Audit and Compliance in Vietnam 2016
In this issue of Vietnam Briefing, we address pressing changes to audit procedures in 2016, and provide guidance on how to ensure that compliance tasks are completed in an efficient and effective manner. We highlight the continued convergence of VAS with IFRS, discuss the emergence of e-filing, and provide step-by-step instructions on audit and compliance procedures for Foreign Owned Enterprises (FOEs) as well as Representative Offices (ROs).
Navigating the Vietnam Supply Chain
In this edition of Vietnam Briefing, we discuss the advantages of the Vietnamese market over its regional competition and highlight where and how to implement successful investment projects. We examine tariff reduction schedules within the ACFTA and TPP, highlight considerations with regard to rules of origin, and outline the benefits of investing in Vietnam’s growing economic zones. Finally, we provide expert insight into the issues surrounding the creation of 100 percent Foreign Owned Enterprise in Vietnam.
Tax, Accounting and Audit in Vietnam 2016 (2nd Edition)
This edition of Tax, Accounting, and Audit in Vietnam, updated for 2016, offers a comprehensive overview of the major taxes foreign investors are likely to encounter when establishing or operating a business in Vietnam, as well as other tax-relevant obligations. This concise, detailed, yet pragmatic guide is ideal for CFOs, compliance officers and heads of accounting who must navigate Vietnam’s complex tax and accounting landscape in order to effectively manage and strategically plan their Vietnam operations.