Australia’s Commonwealth Bank launches 1st Viet Nam branch

Commonwealth Bank of Australia opened its first Viet Nam branch in Ho Chi Minh City Thursday after 14 years operating a representative office to bolster its presence in Southeast Asia.

Commonwealth Bank's Garry Mackrell (R) speaks at the branch opening ceremony while Australian Consul General Mal Skelly looks on (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

“After 14 years operating a representative office, we are delighted to expand our presence with the launch of our first branch,” Mr. Garry Mackrell, Head of International Financial Services for the Commonwealth Bank Group, said at the opening ceremony.

“While operating conditions are challenging at the moment, we strongly believe that Viet Nam will continue its trend of long-term growth,” said Mackrell, who came from Sydney. 

He added if business runs well, his bank would make further expansions.

Commonwealth Bank’s General Director Viet Nam, Mr. Danny Armstrong, said, “As Australia’s leading and most reputable bank, we plan on providing the people of Viet Nam with a safe, convenient and affordable foreign banking alternative.”

He continued, “By opening this branch, we hope to facilitate the relationship we have with the Vietnamese Australian community in Australia even further and improve the services to our loyal Vietnamese customers in Australia who are traveling to, sending money, or doing business in Viet Nam.”

Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell welcomes the launch of Commonwealth Bank’s Viet Nam branch (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

The Australian Ambassador to Viet Nam, Mr. Bill Tweddell, welcomed the opening of the branch. “I’m delighted at the opening of Commonwealth Bank’s first branch in Viet Nam, which will further expand Australia’s presence in this sector,” said Mr. Tweddell.

The Commonwealth Bank is one of Australia’s largest banks with 95-year history and experience in financial services. 

Its first Viet Nam branch is located at 65 Nguyen Du Street in District 1, right next to HSBC Bank.

Also Thursday, global banking group HSBC said in a statement from Hong Kong that it would up its stake in Techcombank, one of the largest private banks in Viet Nam, to 20 percent. HSBC said it would become the first foreign bank to hold a 20 percent stake in a Vietnamese bank, if the 77.1 million dollar deal goes ahead. HSBC currently owns 14.4 percent of Techcombank. HSBC said it expected to finish the deal by September 5.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mackrell of Commonwealth Bank, when answering reporters Thursday, said his bank has yet to identify a Vietnamese bank as a strategic partner.

By Tuong Thuy

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