The State Bank of Vietnam said the ratio of outstanding loans bearing interest rates of more than 15 percent has fallen sharply to 24.6 percent after commercial banks were asked to lower borrowing costs.
In mid-July, loans with rates of 15 percent or higher stood at around 80 percent of total credit, according to a statement posted on the government's website Saturday.
It said the ratio at five state-owned commercial banks has dropped to only 6.2 percent. Around 20.4 percent of loans now have interest rates under 13 percent.
The central bank last month told commercial lenders to reduce rates on existing loans to a maximum of 15 percent.
Local businesses, however, have complained that many banks have still refused to lower the interest rates on current loans and that only large, strong companies can benefit from lower rates.
Economist Vu Dinh Anh told news website VnExpress that the central bank's policy was laudable, but the goal should be to help weak firms. "Struggling companies should be given rate cuts before strong firms."
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