Deposits in banks “evaporated,” police join in and rob clients’ money

Recently, there have been a number of cases of “evaporation” of customer deposits at banks. Among them, there are deposits of up to hundreds of billions of dong (VND1 billion equals to $40.000). This has made public opinion extremely worried and worried about the safety of deposits at banks.

Notably, when the incident happened, banks have denied their responsibility. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies blame the bank staff- perpetrators for embezzlement and are responsible for compensation.

Tien Phong newspaper on March 28 reported “A MSB Bank branch director has been probed and arrested, in the case of “evaporation” of nearly VND340 billion.” The news said that on the afternoon of March 28, Major General Nguyen Thanh Tung – Deputy Director of Hanoi Police Department, informed about customers losing money at Vietnam Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MSB).

According to Major General Tung, on October 10, 2023, the Security Investigation Agency received information from MSB Bank about the discovery of Bui Thi Hoai Anh, born in 1984, as the MSB Bank Thanh Xuan Branch Director, there are signs of fraud and appropriation of VND165 billion.

On October 18, 2023, the Investigation Agency probed the case, temporarily detained Bui Thi Hoai Anh, thereby identifying 8 victims with the “robbed” amount of VND338 billion. Hanoi Police have not identified any additional accomplices in this fraud and have applied asset recovery measures to return to the victims.

This statement by Major General Nguyen Thanh Tung caused an uproar on social networks, because it was believed that the Police Department had created conditions for MSB Bank to deny its responsibility. The depositor sent the money to MSB Bank, not to Bui Thi Hoai Anh.


Facebooker Huonghuyen Hoang said: “In cases where money in banks suddenly disappear, only bank employees steal it. The responsibility belongs to Maritime Bank, which must fully compensate customers, not related to the recovery of lost money.”

Journalist Nguyen Thien in a status titled, “Who is the victim?” said that “when people deposit money into an account opened at a bank, the relationship between the bank and the customer is established. Banks must have the responsibility to protect the interests of customers, specifically to meet withdrawal requests whenever customers want.

Therefore, the appropriation of VND338 billion by Bui Thi Hoai Anh – Director of MSB Thanh Xuan branch, is an appropriation of the Bank’s money, not that of the 8 victims. Defendant Hoai Anh’s fraud was bank fraud, not fraud against eight victims as Hanoi Police leaders informed.

Journalist Nguyen Thien bitterly exclaimed “Indeed, I am very surprised at the argument of the Deputy Director of Hanoi Police on this case!”

Through research, the reporter of found that there is a common situation at banks, whether public or private, when customers lose money in their accounts, the banks deny responsibility. They even force customers to prove that the fault does not belong to the customer. In the end, cases like this must be resolved through lengthy lawsuits, creating bad psychology for depositors.


According to Thanh Nien newspaper, former Governor of the State Bank Cao Sy Kiem once affirmed:

“When an incident occurs, the experience of banks around the world is not to blame customers, because when receiving deposits from customers, the bank’s first responsibility and obligation is to apply safety measures. Banks fully guarantee that the customer’s money will not be lost. If the money disappear without the customer’s signature, the Bank must immediately deduct compensation from the risk fund first, and whose fault it is will be clarified later.”

A retired former State Bank specialist told that the bank must compensate and rectify its system to maintain its reputation and create trust for customers. He said:

“I think that, if it is true that customers’ money deposited in the bank is ‘evaporated’ then the bank must be 100% responsible. Banks are not allowed to blame hackers or their systems, because that is the bank’s responsibility and must compensate them, regardless of who did the wrong.”

Commenting on the root cause of the irresponsibility of the banking system in Vietnam today, Dr. Nguyen Quang A affirmed:

“This is a systemic error of the banking system, but the bank is a small part within a large system. As long as the so-called general trust in society is not high and is destroyed, there will be no sustainable development and that becomes harmful to the economy.

Public believes that this is a flaw as well as a serious error of the Vietnamese banking system. Furthermore, according to the 2017 State Bank ordinance, regulations state that in case a bank goes bankrupt, depositors can only be compensated up to VND75 million. That has made many depositors confuse and worry about the their money when depositing at Vietnamese commercial banks./.


Tra My –