Asia's best bank transformation 2016: Asia Commercial Bank (Vietnam)
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Asia's best bank transformation 2016: Asia Commercial Bank (Vietnam)

Awards for Excellence 2016

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It’s not ideal for your bank’s reputation when your founder is jailed for 30 years. That’s what happened to Asia Commercial Bank in June 2014 when Nguyen Duc Kien was found guilty of a host of crimes apparently conducted through several of the bank’s subsidiaries. Several other ACB executives were imprisoned too; the stock lost 38% of its value in a day.

Two years on, the transformation at ACB has been not only financial and reputational but physical. Visitors to the bank’s Ho Chi Minh City head office find it all but unrecognisable from a few years ago: it has been gutted and reshaped internally to make the place feel like a whole new bank.

More importantly, ACB is now stable and growing. Among the four joint stock banks it has the largest book of both deposits and loans, and while it is outgunned in profitability by some of its peers, net profits have grown steadily since the 2013 shock and were up 8.1% year on year in 2015. NPLs (in the 3-5 category in the Vietnamese system, the more severe end of exposure) are officially just 1.3%

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