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Banking & Finance

Former SBV Deputy Governor being investigated

Released at: 10:19, 11/09/2017

Former SBV Deputy Governor being investigated

Former SBV Deputy Governor Dang Thanh Binh (Photo: thanhnien.vn

Dang Thanh Binh under investigation over his involvement in $400 million graft case.

by Quang Huy

A criminal investigation has been launched into a former Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to establish his role in a massive graft case that cost the country’s banking sector VND9 trillion ($400 million).

Dang Thanh Binh, 63, has been placed under house arrest and is facing charges of “dereliction of duty, causing serious consequences”. Binh served as Deputy Governor from 2005 until he retired in August 2014.

Investigators from the Ministry of Public Security said he is accountable for massive losses at the Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB), the biggest ever fraud case to rock the country’s banking sector. It did not elaborate on his level of culpability.

The criminal investigation comes a week after government inspectors issued a report highlighting violations that took place at the central bank between 2010 and 2015. They included turning a blind eye to staff that ignored banking protocols, failing to detect and warn of insolvency risks at weak lenders, and refusing to follow anti-corruption regulations.

Binh’s charge is the latest in the VNCB case, following a series of arrests and convictions over the past year.

Regarding his arrest, the central bank said it will cooperate with investigative agencies as required and will wait for an official conclusion from authorities. “This arrest will not affect fiscal policy operations and banking activities,” the SBV confirmed.

A month ago, Vietnamese police arrested 16 people, including banking tycoons and employees of various banks and companies, for helping former VNCB Chairman Pham Cong Danh steal money from the bank, which was taken over by the government in early 2015. Danh was sentenced to 30 years in jail last October, while 35 other former bank employees received sentences of up to 22 years behind bars.

In one of the biggest economic crime cases in the country, Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Board of Ocean Bank, and 50 former executives and employees of the bank face charges of appropriating assets, breaching loan regulations, abusing power, and intentionally acting against State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences.

Apart from violations that resulted in losses of nearly VND2 trillion ($88 million) for Ocean Bank, Tham was also found to have directed his subordinates to approve a loan for VNCB’s Danh without guaranteeing the lending conditions, collateral, and proper purposes, causing losses of nearly VND350 billion ($15.3 million) for Ocean Bank.

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