The central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), is the main financial regulatory agency. The SBV supervises one policy bank, the Social Policy Bank of Vietnam, four majority state-owned commercial banks (SOCB’s) Vietcombank, BIDV, Vietinbank and Agribank, 31 joint-stock (private) banks, four joint-venture banks, 51 representative offices of foreign banks, 51 branches of foreign banks, 16 financial companies, 11 financial leasing companies and five wholly-owned foreign banks. The SBV is not an independent body and it continues to operate under government oversight.
The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other international donors, are assisting Vietnam in the implementation of financial reforms to help ensure stability and promote the effectiveness of the banking system in Vietnam. The reform programs focus on three main areas: the restructuring of joint-stock banks; the restructuring and equitization of the SOCB's; and improving the regulatory framework and increasing transparency. Other ongoing projects aim to modernize the interbank market, create an international accounting system, and allow outside audits of the major Vietnamese banks. The SBV is in the procedure of strengthening its own internal processes and enhancing the level of inspections and supervision of the banks within its jurisdiction.
Although the banking sector remains small, banking networks and services have been expanding rapidly and there is great potential for banks to develop the retail banking business (approximately 75 percent of Vietnam’s 93 million people use limited banking services, while the remaining 25 percent have not taken advantage of banking services.)
Vietnam is a cash-based society, there are 12,811 automated teller machines(ATMs) and 40 million ATM Cards in circulation.
Vietnam's top 5 banks by registered capital are :
- VietinBank $1.56 billion (32,661 billion VND)
- Agribank $1.39 billion (29,154 billion VND)
- Vietcombank $1.10 billion (23,174 billion VND)
- BIDV $1.10 billion (23,011 billion VND)
- Eximbank $0.59 billion (12,355 billion VND)