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Vietnam court requires bank to pay $28,000 compensation to customer who lost $480,000 to swindlers

Vietnam court requires bank to pay $28,000 compensation to customer who lost $480,000 to swindlers

Thursday, March 21, 2024, 14:25 GMT+7
Vietnam court requires bank to pay $28,000 compensation to customer who lost $480,000 to swindlers
The People’s Court in Tu Son City, Bac Ninh Province, northern Vietnam requires Vietcombank to compensate a customer VND700 million (US$28,259) while she had lost VND11.9 billion ($480,409) in her account at the bank to swindlers. Photo: L.Thanh / Tuoi Tre

The People’s Court of Tu Son City in Bac Ninh Province, northern Vietnam on Wednesday ordered major state-run lender Vietcombank to compensate a customer VND700 million (US$28,259) of the VND11.9 billion ($480,409) she had lost in a scam.

Earlier, the victim, 50-year-old Tran Thi Chuc, filed a lawsuit against Vietcombank to the Tu Son City People’s Court, demanding that the bank compensate her the VND11.9 billion she had lost to swindlers.

On April 22, 2022, Chuc visited the Kinh Bac branch of Vietcombank in Bac Ninh Province to open an account.

Between April 22 and 24, 2022, Chuc and her family members transferred over VND11.9 billion to the account.

However, she received neither phone calls nor text messages about changes to her account balance.

As the bank was closed for the weekend on April 23 and 24, Chuc reached out to it on April 25, 2022 to check her balance.

She was shocked when the bank’s employee said her account had just VND114,718 ($4.6) though she had never made any withdrawal.

During the court proceedings, Chuc stated that the bank's employee failed to clarify Vietcombank's regulations or guide her to review pertinent documents at the Kinh Bac branch when assisting her in opening the account.

Chuc’s lawyer, Le Ngoc Ha from the Hanoi Bar Association, said the lender failed to instruct Chuc on how to protect the money in her account and never provided measures to prevent the loss of the money to swindlers.

Meanwhile, Vietcombank affirmed that it had properly followed procedures on the opening and use of its bank accounts.

Chuc must take responsibility for her failure to protect her bank account information, as stated in Vietcombank’s regulations and the contract betweeb her and the lender, a bank representative said.

According to the court, the bank has publicized documents relating to the opening and use of bank accounts at its Kinh Bac branch and on its website.

The documents, however, are not easy to access and the bank’s employees did not help the victim access such documents before opening her account.

These are indirect reasons for the loss of Chuc’s money in her account, the court stated.

The Kinh Bac branch of Vietcombank also failed to explain the bank’s regulations and warn of swindlers’ new tricks to the customer.

As Chuc was never told about the bank account authentication process, she installed an app under a swindler’s instructions which led to her losing control of her phone and allowed the thieves to access her account, according to the court.

Chuc on Thursday lodged an appeal to the court.

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Thanh Ha - Le Thanh / Tuoi Tre News

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