Vietnamese banks have ceased exchanging large-denomination dollar banknotes for two-dollar bills, local media reported Thursday.
On December 12, Saigon Commercial Bank launched the program to meet the demands of locals that prefer the greenback for use as li xi (lucky money) during the Lunar New Year festival, which begins early next month.
Other lenders followed suit.
Critics griped that the lenders are "contributing to dollarization." The State Bank of Vietnam stepped in, demanding that they put an end to the service, the Vietnam Economic Forum website said Thursday.
While commercial banks have obeyed the central bank's order, black market currency changers continue to sell two-dollar notes for an exorbitant comission, the website said.