Recent developments

Vietnam previously imposed a registration requirement for "standard contracts and general trading conditions" of certain services offered by both onshore banks and life insurers through Decision No. 35 in relation to the Law on Consumer Protection.

On 5 September 2018, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 38/2018/QDTTg amending Decision No. 35 ("Decision No. 38") on this registration requirement, revising the list of essential goods and services which are subject to the "standard contracts and general trading conditions" registration requirements under the Law on Consumer Protection.

  • In relation to onshore banks, Decision No. 38 proposes relaxing the above registration requirements by removing retail banking services from the list. This follows an earlier MOIT plan issued on 21 February 2017 aiming to abolish unnecessary administrative procedures and reduce compliance costs for onshore banks.
  • In relation to life insurers, however, Decision No. 38 does not offer a similar concession.

Specific implications for onshore banks

Under the previous regulations, onshore banks were required to register standard contracts and general trading conditions for "issuance of local debit cards, opening and use of payment accounts (applicable to individual customers), and borrowing of capital for individuals (for consumption purposes)." This has been in force since 15 October 2015 pursuant to Decision No. 35 in connection with the Law on Consumer Protection. Effective from 22 October 2018 under Decision No. 38, the aforementioned banking services will be removed from the list of essential goods and services which standard contracts are required to be registered. Accordingly, the MOIT registration requirement under the Law on Consumer Protection shall not be applicable for those services.

Implications for onshore life insurers

Decision No. 38 is silent on "life insurance," which was previously added to the list of essential goods and services pursuant to Decision No. 35. This means that MOIT policy forms and terms registration requirements and conditions of life insurance services will remain unchanged.

Accordingly, for life insurance products, life insurers shall continue to implement registration requirements in accordance with Regulation No. 4330 on the coordinated process between the MOIT and the MOF that connects MOF approval of life insurance products under the Law on Insurance Business with MOIT registration of life insurance policy templates and terms and conditions under the Law on Consumer Protection.