Three banks unite to navigate together

The new Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB), which has just come into being from the union of First Commercial Bank (Ficombank), Vietnam Tin Nghia Bank and Saigon Commercial Bank, held its first shareholders meeting at Windsor An Dong Plaza on Dec 23. The meeting agreed up with SCB’s new development strategy.


Three banks, one direction

On Dec. 15, the three predecessor banks held their shareholders meetings and they agreed to name the new united bank as Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB). The new one will succeed and carry out all operations of the three banks. This means the three institutions have joined the same boat for only one direction. Challenges are still ahead but the agreements towards the union show that the new SCB gets great support to turn over a new page.

State Bank of Vietnam representatives congratulate the Board of Directors of SCB of the 2012-2017 term

At the three shareholders meetings, voting for the union was above 90%. The agreement at the Ficombank and SCB meetings was event over 99%. The three banks have 3,693 shareholders in all, with Vietnamese shareholders taking up to 85.17%. That high voting rate shows great support from shareholders and investors. Documents and books of the three banks will be transferred to the new SCB on the official union day and the new institution has almost VND10,584 billion in chartered capital, more than VND150 trillion in total assets, almost 4,000 personnel and 230 transaction units in its network.

Meeting of trust

On Dec. 23, 2011 at Windsor Plaza, the united bank SCB held its first shareholders meeting to discuss union issues. The meeting ran for five hours and resolutions were passed with the yes rate higher than 98%.

Important issues passed include the draft on SCB structure and operations, structure and operations of the Board of Directors, structure and operations of the Controlling Committee, authority for the Board of Directors to make decisions that are made by a shareholders meeting, 2012 budget for the Board of Directors and Controlling Committee. The meeting also agreed to vote eight Board of Directors members, one member for the Independent Board of Directors and four members for the Controlling Committee for the 2012-2017 term.

Shareholders vote during the united SCB’s shareholders meeting

At the meeting, shareholders and the new Board of Directors voted Ficombank chairwoman Nguyen Thi Thu Suong as SCB chairperson, Vietnam Tin Nghia Bank chairman Vu Van Thanh as SCB deputy chairman. The new board appointed Ficombank deputy chairman Uong Van Ngoc An as CEO, and Le Phuong Hien, deputy chairman of the former SCB, as chief of the Controlling Committee.

Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Thang, State Bank of Vietnam deputy director in charge of the Ho Chi Minh City Branch, said SCB has become one of the biggest commercial joint stock banks in Vietnam. He added the fact that the three banks were the first ones to unite testified efforts by the Vietnamese Government and State Bank to restructure the country’s banking system. The central bank’s Ho Chi Minh City Branch will continue to be with SCB in the new period, he added.

New SCB chairwoman Nguyen Thi Thu Suong said, “After our union, SCB will develop better based on our strengths in finance, our operation network and management to promptly become a leading bank. The SCB Board of Directors is committed to try their best to perform tasks assigned by the shareholders meeting.”

Foreign investors highly interested

Among those who attended the SCB shareholders meeting was Dr Lee George Lam, chairman for Indochina of Macquarie Capital, Macquarie Group – an international investment group from Australia that is managing assets worth more than US$317 billion. He serves as chief of the Advisory Council for the three-bank union. He says foreign investors are highly interested in the union.

Restructuring Vietnam’s banking system aims to make it stronger. The restructuring will help the banks improve themselves towards higher safety, effectiveness and being more solid. The new SCB has started a new chapter in its efforts to become a major bank.

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