Customers accept bank merger plan without fuss: report

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New deposits into the three banks that are going through a high-profile merger have risen over the last couple of days, an official  involved in the merger said.

The merger is the first major step being taken as part of efforts to restructure the domestic banking sector.

There was no panic rush on deposits after the merger was announced, said Tran Bac Ha, chairman of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, known widely as BIDV.

Ha told the VnExpress news website that it was business as usual Thursday at the Saigon Commercial Bank, Vietnam Tin Nghia Bank and Ficombank. Fewer clients have withdrawn their money from the three banks compared to early in the week.

In fact, new deposits actually rose by around 50 percent compared to Wednesday, Ha said, adding many depositors chose to renew their deposits upon maturity.

State-run BIDV has been assigned the task of representing and managing the government's stake in the newly formed bank after the merger. It has also inked a deal with the three small lenders to support them through the process.

"I myself would continue to deposit my money into the three banks, and even call for my staff to do so. The merger will combine the banks"¦ and it's not a bankruptcy. The interests of all depositors will continue to be secured," Ha said.

Ha refused to disclose the size of the government's stake in the new bank, saying "this is a sensitive time."

He said BIDV will not hold a stake in the new bank. It would only help manage the government's investment, Ha said.

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It would take around one year for the newly formed lender to stabilize its operations, he said.

According to VnExpress, the new bank will be called the Saigon Commercial Bank, the name of the largest of the three lenders that are being merged.

The final plan for the merger is expected to be submitted to the State Bank of Vietnam for approval on January 1.

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