SBV tells banks to up security after $11m fraud

The State Bank of Viet Nam has instructed all banks to improve safety of their money transactions after the Ministry of Public Security issued an international warrant for a fugitive bank executive for allegedly misappropriating nearly US$11 million from a customer.


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The State Bank of Viet Nam has instructed all banks to improve safety of their money transactions after the Ministry of Public Security issued an international warrant for a fugitive bank executive for allegedly misappropriating nearly US$11 million from a customer.— Photo vietnamnet.vn

In a letter, it said all commercial banks must review and amend their internal regulations if needed to improve safety.

“Banks must ensure all their staff fully understand and implement all regulations and regularly provide them with training.”

The central bank also called on lenders to upgrade their technologies to improve security and work closely with authorities to provide and receive information related to frauds.

“Education on money transaction should be improved for customers. Oversight and rotation of staff are very important.”

It said banks must immediately report to the SBV and other related authorities when they detect a fraud or security violation, it said.

The letter was precipitated by the alleged fraud committed by Le Nguyen Hung, 47, former deputy director of the Viet Nam Export Import Commercial Bank (Eximbank)’s HCM City Branch.

He is suspected of and wanted by the ministry’s investigation police for misappropriating VNĐ245 billion ($11 million) from Chu Thị Bình, a customer and seafood entrepreneur in HCM City.

Bình had been making large deposits at the branch since 2007, and her resultant VIP status meant she did not have to personally visit the bank for transactions.

Between 2013 and 2014 she deposited over VNĐ300 billion ($13.6 million) at the branch.

Hưng, who had gained Bình’s trust, visited her house often in connection with her transactions and accounts.

Between 2014 and 2016, taking advantage of the authority he had to deal with savings accounts and customers, Hưng allegedly created fake documents and forged Bình’s signature to withdraw money from multiple accounts belonging to her.

In February last year Hưng suddenly resigned his job and went abroad. When Bình checked her accounts, she found VNĐ245 billion missing and reported to the Ministry of Public Security.

Hưng had been working for Eximbank since1991 and at the HCM City branch for 10 years.

An Eximbank spokesperson said Bình trusted Hung and chose to work directly with him.

Bình has been asking for her money back but Eximbank said it must await a verdict from the courts.

“Once a court decides that Eximbank is responsible for returning the money, we will do it immediately,” the bank’s CEO, Le Van Quyet, said.

“We really want to resolve this quickly and save ourselves from bad publicity. But without a trial, it will be hard for us to explain to our shareholders.”

It is not clear yet when a trial will be held. — VNS

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