ACB had been considered the most thriving bank among joint stock banks until 2012. The bank reported the huge profit of VND3.1 trillion in 2010 and VND4.2 trillion in 2011.
At that moment, its total assets reached VND281.019 trillion and witnessed the growth rate of 37% year on year.
Sacombank’s heyday was in 2010 and 2011. Its profit was lower than ACB’s, but still high at VND2.5 trillion. It was among the five most profitable joint stock banks.
Ite difficult period began in 2012, when power was transferred from a group of investors headed by Dang Van Thanh to a group headed by Tram Be and took a loss from gold trading and lending. However, the bank regained strength in 2013 and 2014 with the second best business result, just after MB.
Eximbank also had a bright past as it held a big market share in services related to import/export activities, foreign currency and gold trading. The bank reported a profit of over VND4 trillion in 2011.
The trio of banks also caught the public’s attention because of their cross ownership, and their decision on a merger plan.
However, ACB has gone downhill because of gold trading, and the problems of Nguyen Duc Kien and Huyen Nhu.
In 2012, Nguyen Duc Kien, the bank’s founding shareholder, was arrested because of wrongdoings. The bank had lent VND5 trillion to six subsidiaries owned by Kien. Meanwhile, gold lending brought losses of VND1.9 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and put the bank in difficulties in the following years.
It also had trouble with money deposited at other banks. This included VND719 billion deposited at VietinBank which was appropriated by Nguyen Thi Huyen Nhu, and VND600 billion deposited at two ‘zero dong’ banks (banks which have been taken over by the State Bank because of big problems in their operation).
Sacombank, after prospering in 2013 and 2014, set a very ambitious business plan for 2015. However, after admitting Southern Bank, its non-performing loans, which were less than VND1 trillion, soared to over VND3 trillion.
On November 11, 2015, Tram Be resigned from the post of deputy chair of the bank.
As for Eximbank, after a brilliant stage of development, began going downhill in 2012, partially because of problems related to gold and foreign currency trading and bad debt.