The Hanoitimes - Ha was accused of violating regulations on lending, guaranteeing, and debt managing, including a loand worth VND4.7 trillion (US$200 million) to violating Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB).
Vietnam’s police on November 29 arrested Tran Bac Ha, former chairman of Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), once a banking tycoon reportedly using power to influence businesses, for mismanagement, causing serious damage to the bank.
The police also arrested BIDV’s former deputy general director Tran Luc Lang and former director of BIDV Ha Tinh Kieu Dinh Hoa for “violating regulations on banking sector.”
BIDV's former president Tran Bac Ha. Photo: Thanh Nien
Le Thi Van Anh, former head of BIDV Ha Tinh’s Corporate Client Department, was probed for the same charge but kept under house arrest.
Ha was accused of violating regulations on lending, guaranteeing, and debt managing. He approved a loan worth VND4.7 trillion (US$200 million) to 12 companies related to Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB), whose several former excutives have been sentenced to years in prison.
Ha was summoned to the trial relating to VNCB’s former Chairman Pham Cong Danh but he refused to show up for health reasons.
Earlier in June, the Party’s Central Inspection Committee applied expulsion punishment to the 62-year-old banker.
Ha took the post of BIDV’s president for eight years since January 2008. For the past years, rumors of his arrest sent local stock markets falling in 2013 and 2017.
The news website Vnexpress reported that Ha went to Singapore for some surgeries in early 2018. He returned the home country then went to live in Laos.
BIDV has sent a statement saying that the bank is not "negatively affected" by its former executives' arrest.
Nguyen Hoang Hai, vice chairman of the Vietnam Association of Financial Investors, told Hanoitimes that Tran Bac Ha's arrest will not likely weigh on the operations of BIDV or the local banking system as he retired two years ago.
Hai applauded the arrest as it showed the leadership's determination to punish bankers and high-profile government officials who "destroyed" and manupulated the banking system, which is the backbone of the Vietnamese economy.