Banks asked to stabilize deposit rates

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The Vietnam Banks Association has asked its members to keep deposit rates stable at around 11.5 percent so that lending rates can be lowered, the Vietnam Economic Times reported Monday.

Stable deposit rates will help ensure benefits for both lenders and depositors, the association said.

The association also called for commercial banks to stop competing against each other by offering cash bonuses and gifts to customers.

Banks in Vietnam are offering dong deposit rates of between 11 percent and 11.99 percent a year. According to the association, a reasonable rate would not exceed 11.5 percent.

The government earlier this month had asked the central bank to try and bring down interest rates. It also removed the cap on short-term lending rates, after allowing banks to negotiate interest rates on medium and long term loans in February.

"The measures taken by the government and the State Bank of Vietnam to allow commercial bank to free up their interest rates will make banking activities more transparent," the Vietnam Banks Association said. "The interest rate liberalization will help bring rates to their real value and create competition that will lower lending rates and make it easier to clients to access bank loans."

Many banks have set lending rates for corporate clients at 14-14.5 percent, which the association said are "acceptable" under the current economic situation.

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