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The ASEAN Banker Forum 2012 opens in HCM City2012 ASEAN Banker Forum began in HCM City on December 4, organised around the theme “Retail banking: building competitive advantages that engage and retain customers”.

The forum, hosted by the Vietnam Bankers Association (VBA) and the International Data Group (IDG), aims to offer an interactive platform for commercial banks, banking experts, and consultants to discuss and evaluate Vietnamese retail banking’s potential.

It also serves as a venue for Vietnamese and ASEAN bankers to meet and share experiences of the sector’s development in the wider region.

On the forum’s opening day, experts delivered reports on and discussed competitive environment analyses, sustainable development strategies for the sector over the 2013–2015 period, earning the faith of consumers through information security and risk management, and improving customer service through innovative payment solutions.

Some experts said that Vietnamese commercial banks have dramatically transformed in recent years, despite slow credit growth rates and tough competition. Almost all banks are now firmly focused on developing services they offer.

Banking service revenues account for 20-30 percent of the sector’s total revenue. Competition has forced banks to invest in technologies expanding distribution channels and improving service quality.

With nearly 40 percent of the population now Internet users, more than 3.5 million mobile phone users, and 15.5 million of fixed subscribers, Vietnam abounds with opportunities for the development of hi-tech financial services.

The forum’s organising board will also officially recognise Vietnam’s outstanding banks over the course of the two-day event.

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