New Legal Framework to Streamline Licensing and Set up of Commercial Banks

The Content of the new Framework

On June 30th, 2015 the Government issued Circular No. 08/2015/TT-NHNN (Circular 08) in lieu of Circular No. 40/2011/TT-NHNN (Circular 40) for the issuance of licenses and the organization and operation of commercial banks, foreign bank’s branches, representative offices of foreign credit institutions, other foreign organizations that have banking activities (Commercial Banks)  in Vietnam.

This Circular 08 has formulated a full and basic legal framework on procedures for, and dossiers on amendments, supplementation regarding operation contents of Commercial Banks. Furthermore, the formality of proposal dossiers for operational licensing and new establishment license template of Commercial Banks are also regulated in such a new circular.

Besides the new licensing issuance procedure in Circular 40, Circular 08 is expected to add three more new licensing procedures for Commercial Banks, including license replacement issuance, supplementation issuance of operation content to present license and supplementation issuance of operation content associated with license replacement issuance. With respect to the principle of building licensing dossiers, the non-notarized counterpart of documents are duly accepted, provided that those are obtained along with original copy for reference; while the referring person shall sign for confirmation and shall be responsible for the documents’ accuracy. The new establishment license template has the operation content part specifically noting that all banking functions which Commercial Banks are entitled to conduct are in accordance with Law on Credit Institutions and others activities approved by the State Bank.

Business implications

With respect to changes in the State Bank’s licensing activities applied to Commercial Banks in Vietnam, the impact on business will specifically be in banking sector. Accordingly, all approval for changes in registration for the operation of credit institution shall be noted in the Operation License by license replacement issuance. In the event of an amendment or supplementation in the operational content without need for a replacement license, Commercial Banks shall still conduct the proposal procedure on supplementing operation content via the approval instruments of the State Bank. Approval for non-notarized documents in the application dossier shall benefit from a more prompt and efficiently implemented licensing procedure. The more detailed and obvious the licensing procedures is, the more conveniently credit institutions can implement their business.

Our Recommendation

In light of this, we would recommend that commercial banks, branches and representative offices of foreign banks should update their Operation License by implementing the license replacement issuance procedure. The above-mentioned action shall result in owning a kind of detailed and unique valid instrument as a basis of banking operation. With efforts to comply with such new provisions, Commercial Banks shall benefit from good, efficient performance that will positively develop their business.

The Circular No. 08/2015/TT-NHNN will come into effect on August 13th, 2015.

By Vietnam Law Insight (LNT & Partners)

Disclaimer: This Briefing is for information purposes only. Its contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as detailed advice in individual cases. For more information, please contact us or visit the website: Http://

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