Hanoi, 5 April 2006.
During his 3-day-visit to Vietnam, Dr Dietrich Hoppenstedt, President of the German Savings Banks Association, confirmed the commitment of the “Sparkassen” to assist Vietnam’s efforts to modernize its financial system, namely to build up a sustainable microfinance sector. “The experience of the savings bank system in Germany shows that savings, loans and other financial services for low-income people can be provided on a sustainable basis without compromising on quality, outreach and profitability. By assisting the modernization of the TYM Fund, we want to, together with the Vietnam Women’s Union, set a model of a successful microfinance institution for the whole country” said Hoppenstedt. The German savings banks have been founded more than 200 years ago to provide access to financial services for the who population, since banks would focus mainly on rich and corporate clients. Nowadays the “Sparkassen Finance Group”, which Hoppenstedt represents, comprises almost 700 modern institutions with 380,000 staff and a market share of over 30% in Germany. Still the Savings Banks remain committed to their social role of assisting the economic development in their communities.
In Vietnam, the German delegation, which also comprises Dr Holger Berndt, chairman of the World Savings Bank Institute, had meetings with Vice President Mrs. Truong My Hoa, VWU President Mrs. Ha Thi Khiet and State Bank Governor, Dang Thanh Binh. They also visited the Head Office, a Branch and borrowers of the TYM Fund. Mrs. Truong My Hoa, a former President of the Women’s Union and one of the founders of the TYM Fund back in 1992, praised the involvement of the German side as “just in time” for the efforts of the Vietnamese Government to eradicate poverty and help poor women to build their own life.
The Affection Fund of the Vietnam Women’s Union is one of the oldest microfinance organizations of Vietnam serving 22,000 poor women in North Vietnam with small savings, loans of 1 – 15 million Dong and a basic insurance scheme. Supported by the German Government, the Fund has now embarked on professionalizing its services and transforming into a formal non-bank financial institution in line with the Government Decree on Microfinance, passed last year. Assistance is provided by experts from the German Savings Banks as well as from CARD of the Philippines, which has successfully turned from a NGO with 10,000 members into a rural bank with more than 200,000 clients