Why does Vietnam have to pour $24 billion to save Truong My Lan’s SCB Bank?

Conclusion of the Ministry of Public Security’s investigation into the case of Van Thinh Phat Group and its Chairwoman Truong My Lan, alleging that, over a 10-year period, controlled by her SCB Bank lent nearly $45 billion to her companies. The remaining debt balance is up to VND677 trillion, equivalent to $28 billion, which is an irrecoverable debt.

On April 17, international media simultaneously reported, “Vietnam did the unprecedented thing of injecting $24 billion to rescue SCB Bank.” An exclusive news report from an international media agency said that the Vietnamese government did something “unprecedented” to rescue SCB Bank – the bank manipulated by Truong My Lan.

According to international news agencies, SCB Bank used to be one of the largest commercial lending institutions in Vietnam calculated by the amount of deposits. As of early April 2024, the State Bank of Vietnam has granted SCB Bank an amount of VND592.7 trillion, equivalent to $23.72 billion in the form of “special loans” to help the bank from bankrup.

According to information and documents from the banking industry that a person had access to and provided to the above-mentioned international news agency, it was confirmed: “If we don’t lend, SCB will collapse. If we continue to lend, the national treasury will gradually dry up.”

This is an “unprecedented” situation, given the huge amount of cash injected, as well as the complexity of this operation, the scale of current losses, and the potential risk to the financial system Vietnam.

According to a report from the Ministry of Finance, Vietnam’s public debt in 2023 is stable at 37% of gross domestic product (GDP), while the budget deficit increases slightly to 4.4% of GDP. According to the State Bank, foreign exchange reserves will reach about $100 billion by the end of 2023.

In October 2022, after the arrest of female real estate tycoon Truong My Lan, the State Bank placed SCB under supervision to prevent massive withdrawals from SCB. Since then, SCB has used the money injected from the State Bank to pay for customers’ cash withdrawals.

Specifically, this number increased compared to the initial injection level, between October and November 2022, of $3.7 billion per month, and the monthly growth rate was nearly $1.2 billion, from then to October 2023. This shows that the amount of money injected is VND23 trillion, equivalent to $910 million per month, from November 2023 until now.

According to new information this news agency received, despite the official assistance mentioned above, as of December 2023, SCB Bank continued to have liquidity problems, and sometimes struggled to settle payments on time. This affects the “psychology” of customers and has the potential to create risks for the entire Vietnamese financial and banking system.

For a long time, public opinion has asked why the systematic violations of Truong My Lan and Van Thinh Phat Group, as well as their ecosystem, lasted for up to 20 years, without being detected.

All functional agencies, such as the financial system, banks, state audit, inspection at all levels… especially the Ministry of Public Security, no agency detected it in time to handle it quickly and early despite previous warnings from state media, the case still did not receive adequate attention from Vietnamese leaders.

Who is responsible for the things just mentioned?

According to analysts, Vietnam’s Anti-Corruption Agency, headed by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, did not dare to open the “fish pot” named Van Thinh Phat because if they dig it out, it will involve a bunch of connections and roots of the entire system of high-ranking officials in the government apparatus, from 1992 until the day Truong My Lan was imprisoned.

The Vietnamese government’s decision to inject up to $24 billion to save SCB Bank has shown the awareness of senior leaders. They knew clearly about the danger, so they were forced to save SCB, to avoid a chain financial crisis. This is an unprecedented rescue by the Vietnamese government, using the state budget – that is, people’s tax money – to save a private bank.

If Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB) is not saved, the Party’s senior leadership will also die along with it.

Does what just mentioned have anything to do with rumors that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong is willing to lose hundreds of millions of billions appropriated by Truong My Lan to save Le Minh Hung?./.


Tra My – Thoibao.de