Are you looking to open accounts with American banks in Vietnam?
If so, you’re in luck. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about opening a bank account in Vietnam as a foreign resident.
We’ll also look at alternatives so you can determine if you should open a bank account in Hong Kong, Singapore, or Malaysia instead.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to any sections that are immediately relevant to your search.
Table of Contents
- Who Can Benefit from a Vietnamese Bank Account?
- How Do I Find the Best Banks in Vietnam for Foreigners?
- Which American Banks Are in Vietnam?
- What Are the Challenges of Opening a Bank Account in Vietnam?
- Alternative Asian Banking Hubs for US Citizens
- Frequently Asked Vietnamese Banking Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?
Who Can Benefit from a Vietnamese Bank Account?
For a retail customer or an individual, it is useful to have a bank account in Vietnam if you regularly pay and receive money locally. For example, if you are someone who:
- Has clients in Vietnam and receives money from them
- Has suppliers in Vietnam and needs to make payments to them
- Visits Vietnam often, as a tourist or on business or work
- Is studying in Vietnam
- Is working in Vietnam
- Is looking to invest in Vietnam
If any of the above apply to you, then having a local bank in Vietnam can be very advantageous. It will make it easier to access your funds and save you a great deal in transaction and exchange fees.
Do You Want to Explore All Your Offshore Banking Options?
How Do I Find the Best Banks in Vietnam for Foreigners?
The best bank is always the one that meets your particular banking needs and requirements. But generally, here are some of the common features and services you should look for when picking which bank to open an account with. The best banks in Vietnam…
- Offer attractive interest rates for liability (deposit) accounts
- Enable you to smoothly receive money from and send money to overseas accounts, quickly and inexpensively
- Have user-friendly online banking services
- Provide ATM, debit, and credit card facilities
- Provide multi-language Support
- Have transparent fees and preferably do not charge for transfers, remittances, online banking, ATMs, etc.
- Support account opening for foreigners
Banks in Vietnam often have very opaque fee structures and in some cases, their fees can be extortionarily high. Because of this, it is important to carefully vet all banks before choosing which one to open accounts with.
Which American Banks Are in Vietnam?
Several large American banks maintain operations in Vietnam and have for many years. These banks are typically found in the two major urban centers in Vietnam.
- Hanoi, which is the capital, and
- Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), previously known as Saigon, is the largest city.
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
J P Morgan Chase
Bank of America
Waiting for permission to open a branch in HCMC
In addition to banking branches, the following American financial institutions have representative offices in Vietnam.
- JP Morgan Chase Bank (USA) – in Hanoi
- Visa International (Asia Pacific), LLC – (USA) in HCMC and Hanoi
- Wells Fargo (USA) – in Hanoi
What Are the Challenges of Opening a Bank Account in Vietnam?
Over the last few years, the authorities in Vietnam have made efforts to reduce money laundering and illicit financing. They have done this by eliminating loopholes that allow banks to open accounts and money to be remitted overseas without proof of funds.
As a result, while banking has become transparent and cleaner in Vietnam, foreigners may not be able to open accounts as easily as they had been able to in the past.
Luckily, though it is more difficult to open bank accounts than before, it is still possible for most foreigners to do so. You just need to know which banks will open accounts for foreigners, and Americans in particular.
Another thing to keep in mind about banking in Vietnam is that there are exchange control regulations in place which mandate that all exchanges and transfers of foreign currencies need to be made through financial institutions authorized by the State Bank of Vietnam.
This can mean that international transfers in and out of the country may be subject to extra regulatory approvals and scrutiny.
Alternative Asian Banking Hubs for US Citizens
US citizens looking to bank in Asia have a wide range of options that they can consider. That said, it’s important to choose jurisdictions where you have close ties, can meet deposit requirements, and (if possible) can show up in person to open accounts.
With this in mind, if you are a US citizen looking to bank in Asia, you may want to consider account opening in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, or elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Vietnamese Banking Questions
Below are two of the most common questions we receive from people exploring American banks in Vietnam. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Can a US Citizen Open a Bank Account in Vietnam?
If you are a US citizen, you can open a bank account if you have a visa for a 12-month or period or longer. In order to apply for a bank account you will have to find a bank that opens accounts for foreigners, make an appointment, and be able to provide the following:
- Account opening form
- Proof of income
- Proof of residence in Vietnam
- Residence permit
- Valid passport
- Minimum deposit (the required amount depends on the bank)
Which International Banks Are in Vietnam?
There are two ways in which international banks can conduct business in Vietnam:
- As a wholly-owned subsidiary of a foreign bank
- As a branch of a foreign bank
For customers wishing to open accounts and conduct business and transactions, there should be no difference between the two.
According to the list of banks and branches published by the State Bank of Vietnam on their website, the principal non-American foreign banks (American banks have been covered earlier in this article) operating in Vietnam are:
Wholly foreign-owned banks
- ANZ Bank (Vietnam) Limited
- Hong Leong Bank Vietnam Limited
- Hongkong-Shanghai Bank Vietnam Limited – HSBC
- Standard Chartered Bank (Vietnam) Limited
- United Overseas Bank (Vietnam) Limited
Branches of foreign banks
- Bank of China (branch in HCMC)
- Bangkok Bank (branches in Hanoi and HCMC)
- BNP Paribas (branches in Hanoi and HCMC)
- DBS Bank (branch in HCMC)
- Deutsche Bank (branch in HCMC)
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (branches in Hanoi and HCMC)
- Taipei Fubon (branches in Binh Duong, Hanoi and HCMC)
- Mizuho Bank (branches in Hanoi and HCMC)
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