Citi begins retail banking in Vietnam

Citi begins retail banking in Vietnam

Hanoi: US-based Citibank became the first US bank to offer a retail banking service in Vietnam on Tuesday, the latest Western institution to target consumers in what is considered an untapped market.

The company has been in Vietnam since 1993, with branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but until Tuesday had offered corporate and investment services without retail banking.

“We believe in Vietnam’s future and are committed to continuing to invest here and actively participate in Vietnam’s economic growth," Shirish Apte, chief executive of Citi Asia Pacific, said in a statement.

Citibank’s new branch will also provide counter teller services, operate ATMs and provide wealth management services, it said.

British-based HSBC and Standard Chartered, as well as Australia’s ANZ, already operate retail banking services in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s population of about 86 million remains largely rural but the country is fast modernising, presenting a vast potential market for both local and foreign banks.

The sector remains relatively undeveloped, with only 10% of the population using automated teller machines, The Saigon Times weekly reported earlier this year.