The Cooperative Bank of Vietnam (Co-opBank), whose mission includes promoting “social economic development in agricultural and rural area[s]” of Vietnam, recently began implementing a project with the support of Développement international Desjardins (DiD), a unit of Canadian cooperative Desjardins Group, intended to improve the tailoring of financial products to the needs of people in rural Vietnam. Known as “Strengthening the People’s Credit Funds Network” (STEP), the project involves building the capacity of CoopBank to support the country’s 1,200 People’s Credit Funds (PCFs). PCFs provide lending, deposit, remittance and electronic banking services to individuals in the vast majority of the country’s 63 provinces and municipalities.
Before rolling out nationwide, STEP is launching with a pilot project delivering support to 75 PCFs in 14 provinces relating to “credit management, risk management, [information technology] solutions, governance and products and services development.”
STEP is funded by Global Affairs Canada, a unit of the Canadian government.
Founded in 1995 as the Central People’s Credit Fund, Co-opBank published in its most recent available annual report that it held total assets of VND 21 trillion (USD 920 million) as of 2014. It had VND 14 trillion (USD 620 million) in loans outstanding, including VND 4.5 trillion (USD 200 million) to PCFs. It also held VND 11 trillion (USD 480 million) in deposits including VND 4.7 trillion (USD 210 million) from PCFs.
DiD provides technical support and investment for the community finance sector in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. It owns or supports entrepreneur financial centres (EFCs) in Haiti, Panama, Sri Lanka and four African countries. It also operates the Partnership Fund and the Desjardins Fund for Inclusive Finance, which provide loans and investment capital to microfinance institutions and microfinance funds. Together, DiD’s partner microfinance institutions reach approximately 10.9 million families and entrepreneurs as of 2016.
The Desjardins Group, a financial cooperative offering banking, insurance, securities and investment services, with approximately CAD 258 billion (USD 213 billion) in assets as of 2016.
Sources and Additional Resources
DiD press release
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