VietNamNet Bridge – A lot of commercial banks are providing gold keeping service, but they do not collect fees, while they even pay dividends to the clients. Experts believe that this is a disguised type of attracting gold deposits.
The State Bank of Vietnam decided that commercial banks must absolutely stop the capital mobilization and lending in gold. However, ignoring the ban, many commercial banks still keep accepting gold deposits in different disguises.
Service providers pay dividends to service users
Nguoi lao dong newspaper has reported that some banks are mobilizing gold deposits or issuing gold certificates with the fixed terms of no more than 11 months. Meanwhile, some others banks have launched the “gold keeping service,” with which the keepers pay high dividends of up to 3 percent to the gold owners.
A woman at the Dong A Bank’s branch on Nguyen Cong Tru Street in district 1 of HCM City, said that previously, she deposited 9 taels of gold at the bank at the interest rate of 2 percent per annum. However, she has been advised by the bank officer to shift to use the gold keeping service.
“If I use the service, I would get the dividend of 3 percent per annum. Meanwhile, the gold deposit interest rate has been lowered to 0.4 percent in a plan to gradually eliminate gold deposits initiated by the State Bank,” she said.
From early March 2012 to the end of April 2012, Phuong Dong Bank issues the gold mobilization certificate with the fixed terms of 1-11 months. The highest interest rate offered by the bank is 2 percent per annum, provided that depositors will not withdraw money before the deposits become matured.
When asked about the plan to stop accepting gold deposits, an officer of Phuong Dong Bank’s Ben Thanh branch in district 1, said that by that time, depositors would shift to use the gold keeping service, and they would still get the dividend of 2 percent, which would be paid in Vietnam dong.
Contrary to all predictions that gold depositing would gradually disappear from the market, banks have been pushing up the gold mobilization since the beginning of the year. Eximbank and ACB are offering the interest rate of 3 percent as the highest rate. Meanwhile, the interest rates at Viet A bank could be up to 3.2-3.4 percent.
The bank which offers the highest interest rate for gold deposits is the Saigon Bank. An officer of the bank said that depositors would get 3.2 percent per annum for 1-2 month term gold deposits, 3.5 percent for the deposits from 3 months to 364 days. Especially, besides the fixed interest rates, special clients would get some preferences.
For example, the depositors over 50 years old, would get 0.05 percent more in interest rates. Those, who deposit 1-10 taels of gold, would get 0.4 percent more, and those, who extend the deposits, would get the additional interest rate of 0.15 percent. As such, the highest interest rate could be up to nearly 4 percent per annum.
Banks dodging the laws
The decision by the State Bank to stop mobilizing capital and lending in gold prior to May 1, 2012, seems to be insignificant to banks because they still can mobilize gold in different modes.
Van, an office of a media company in district 1 of HCM City, said that she has deposited 10 taels of gold for one month at a bank. However, the certificate shows that this is an 11 month term deposit.
“The date is just for papers. You can return after one month and get your interest for the deposit,” an officer told her.
Analysts say that banks are trying to mobilize capital in gold from the public to sell for dong to settle the liquidity problem. The gold price has stabilized at 44-45 million dong per tael.