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Eximbank to review credit card policy following sensational debt case

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Eximbank is doing a comprehensive review and adjusting its policies concerning the calculation methods for interest rates and fees associated with credit cards to safeguard the rights and interests of both the bank and its customers.

The bank issued its second statement on March 20 in response to the recent controversy surrounding a credit card debt that escalated from VND8.5 million 11 years ago to an unbelievable VND8.8 billion now.

It confirmed that its representatives met with the affected customer in Hanoi on March 19 and agreed to collaborate in resolving the matter promptly, with a focus on upholding fair and reasonable customer rights.

“Eximbank has been and is urgently inspecting, reviewing, evaluating, and adjusting its policies, regulations, procedures, contracts, and agreements,” Eximbank said in its statement.

“This includes methods of calculating interest, fees for lending, credit card issuance, as well as customer care to timely support, share, and ensure the interests of both the bank and its customers.”

Eximbank’s statement came out after the State Bank of Vietnam asked the bank to respond or provide information to the media and the public regarding how they handled the customer’s credit card debt escalation from VND8.5 million to VND8.8 billion and seek feedback from the public.

The controversy arose after a customer in Quang Ninh Province reported that a credit card debt, which was initially VND8.5 million in 2013, had ballooned to over VND8.83 billion by 2023, with interest accounting for over VND8.8 billion. The principal debt remained at VND8.5 million.

The customer claimed that despite applying for a credit card in 2013, he neither received a physical card nor made any transactions. It was only in 2017, when attempting to secure a loan from another bank, that he learned of the bad debt status at Eximbank.

Throughout the five-year period, the customer reportedly did not receive any notifications from Eximbank regarding the outstanding debt. He also contested the authenticity of the signatures on the transaction receipts.

Eximbank maintained that its interest and fee calculation methods align with the agreement signed between the bank and the customer upon the application for the credit card in 2013. The agreement, dated March 15, 2013, included all necessary signatures.

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