State Bank: criminal investigation on ex-leader does not affect Vietnam's monetary policy

The State bank of Vietnam said it will closely cooperate with investigative police if requested

File photo of Dang Thanh Binh

A criminal investigation launched Friday into a former deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam will leave no impact on the country’s monetary policy, the central bank said later the same day.

The State Bank of Vietnam said the investigation on charges of neglect of duty into Dang Thanh Binh, who served as the institution’s deputy governor for nearly ten years, will not “affect the central bank’s operations and the management of the country’s monetary policy.”

Vietnamese police announced in a statement Friday afternoon that the ex-deputy governor has been placed under investigation for his role in multimillion-dollar financial damages to the state budget from wrongdoings at the erstwhile Vietnam Construction Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VNCB).

The 63-year-old was not taken into custody, but is restricted from leaving his place of residence.

In a statement later the same day, the State bank of Vietnam said it will closely cooperate with investigative police if requested, and will give no further comment until an official conclusion for the case is released.

Binh was appointed deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam in May 2005, following a career in state banking management that spanned decades. He held the position for nearly ten years, before entering retirement in 2014.

As a deputy central bank governor, Binh was in charge of overseeing and inspecting local banks.

The central bank’s inspectorate has been found to “work impassively” and “have many conduct violations” between 2010 to June 2015, according to the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam.

The State Bank of Vietnam’s inspectorate had been tasked with strictly overseeing the operations of VNCB, but failed to prevent it from causing massive state budget loss of more than $401.79 million.

The former VNCB chairman, Pham Cong Danh, was last year sentenced to 30 years behind bars on charges of “violating lending regulations of credit institutions” and “deliberate act against state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”.

The ruling to Danh followed a month-long trial involving nearly three dozen other defendants who received between three and 22 years imprisonment each.

The defendants’ wrongdoings were found to have incurred more than VND9 trillion ($401 million) in losses on VNCB between 2012 and 2014, according to court documents.

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