Skip to content

Bank Run Shows Risks From Widening Vietnam Corruption Probes

  • Police announced fraud probe into real estate conglomerate
  • Customers pulled money from nation’s fifth-largest bank
Customers line up at a Saigon Commercial Bank branch in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 10.
Customers line up at a Saigon Commercial Bank branch in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 10.Photographer: Mai Ngoc Chau/Bloomberg
Updated on

It was a jarring image for one of the world’s fastest growing economies: Scores of Vietnamese flooded branches of the nation’s fifth-largest bank to pull out their savings amid rumors the lender was tied to a real estate conglomerate under investigation for fraud.

Vietnam’s central bank spent the last week calming markets and depositors while Saigon Commercial Bank raised interest rates and lured back customers. On Saturday, the regulator said it would place the privately-held lender under “special scrutiny” and directed four banks to help manage it.