Tran Sy Thanh, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, said at the recent conference to connect businesses and banks held by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) in Hanoi that the credit policies failed to cover and support all businesses.

Banks should simplify procedures for small- and medium-sized enterprises to enable them to access credit. (File photo)

Thanh said that he expected banks to take timely actions to provide credit to enterprises while enterprises still have the ability to absorb capital. If the capital came late, it would be difficult for enterprises to survive, he said.

Le Vinh Son, President of the Hanoi Association of Main Industrial Products (Hami), said that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) encountered a lot of difficulties in borrowing money from banks, including complicated procedures and prolonged loan approval times.

He said that the slow reduction of rates also made it difficult for enterprises, proposing rates be lowered by 1-2%, which could be sourced from the banks’ profits.

“I do not suggest banks lower credit standards, but they could be more flexible in assessing some financial criteria,” Son said.

Trinh Thi Ngan from the Hanoi Association of SMEs said that the 2% per year interest rate support program primarily benefited large companies, while many SMEs, which needed the support most, found it difficult to access it.

Banks should simplify procedures for SMEs to allow them to access banking credit, Ngan said.

Nguyen Trong Hoa, director of a steel company, said that the interest rates should be lowered to around 6%.

SBV Governor Nguyen Thi Hong mentioned that the central bank would ask credit institutions to continue to reduce costs and accelerate digital transformation to create room for lowering rates. Additionally, Hong said enterprises should be transparent in their financial situations and cash flow so that credit institutions would not be hesitant to provide lending.

Nguyen Thanh Tung, director of the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, shared that the bank would allocate 1.85 trillion VND from its profit to support existing loans.

Tung also emphasized that credit standards could not be lowered to prevent an increase in bad debts in the future.

Ha Thu Giang, Director of SBV’s Credit Department, pointed out that the pressure on banking credit was immense because other capital-raising channels, such as the corporate bond and securities market, were not very efficient.

Senior economist Vo Tri Thanh stated that the challenge of improving credit access and capital absorbability required a comprehensive solution that considered the entire economic system, not just the banking sector.

The SBV reduced rates four times by approximately 0.5-2 percentage points in total during the first nine months of this year to support the economy.

Source: VNA