The State Bank of Vietnam, the country’s central bank, has recommended that local lenders limit and keep a close eye on their lending to the real-estate and securities sectors amid recent reports of alarmingly rapid credit growth.
Banks should avoid directing too much of their available credit toward the construction and property sectors, and should instead concentrate on mid- and long-term lending, the central bank said in a fiat.
Local credit institutions are also advised to continuously review and assess the progress of realty projects and their developers’ financial health, particularly as it relates to their collateral assets, and have measures in place to handle any defaults.
As for the consumer credit sector, the State Bank of Vietnam reminded banks to evaluate and process lending applications with scrutiny.
Banks should monitor borrowers to ensure they refrain from using consumer credit for investment in property or stocks.
The central bank also suggested that banks limit the pace of their stock market investment lending in order to minimize risk.
As an alternative, commercial banks were asked to increase their lending to the manufacturing, production, and business sectors, particularly those areas in need of capital for growth, such as agriculture, export, supporting industries, and small- and medium-sized enterprises.
This is not the first time the central bank has told local lenders to tighten the valve on credit meant for the real-estate and stock sectors.
Loans made to businesses and individuals in these industries have been expanded at a pace so fast that the State Bank of Vietnam is concerned that a disproportionately high number of defaults are just around the corner.
Consumer credit in Vietnam grew nearly 60 percent in 2017.
Many banks have dodged credit regulations by offering lending packages supposedly earmarked for “house repairs” or “house construction” to consumer credit customers, Vietnam’s National Financial Supervision Committee warned in a May 2017 report.