From difficult beginnings
In 1996, Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OCB) was officially established with the initials of Oricom Bank, with a charter capital of VND70 billion. A year later, the Asian financial crisis between the period 1997 – 1998 had negative impacts on Vietnam’s economy in all areas, and banking was not an exception.
At the end of 2000, the Vietnam – US Bilateral Trade Agreement was signed, promising high economic growth and exports. Especially, when Vietnam officially joined the WTO in 2006, Vietnam’s economy was on the rise through deeper integration with the region and the world, becoming an important driving force for growth, creating many business opportunities for enterprises as well as the banking and finance industry in Vietnam. At that time, OCB also gradually stabilised and developed.
In 2008, the financial crisis that originated in the US spread quickly to other countries leading to a global economic recession. Vietnam was also significantly affected, facing challenges from an unstable economy, inflation, a frozen real estate market, and a record high unemployment rate. Profits of many banks decreased, they recorded even loss; bad debt increased; suffered the stress on the liquidity system. Since OCB was still a young bank at that time, so those difficulties were inevitable.
A journey of spectacular change
By the end of 2010, OCB began its ‘makeover’ journey by re-planning its development strategy, restructuring its organisational model extensively to all business activities, centralising management, rebuilding the human resources team, improving staff capacity, especially the executive team, focusing on risk management according to international standards.
After a period of restructuring, despite facing a difficult post-crisis period of the financial and banking industry from 2011 to 2013, thanks to the timely direction of the Board of Management and above all, the consensus and determination of all employees, OCB has gone through turbulent times and become one of the banks that ‘finished’ the earliest in the 1st phase of the restructuring process of the industry, with operational indicators that are always guaranteed, in line with the highest standards of the State Bank of Vietnam.
The culmination of the implementation of OCB’s focused strategies was in 2016, when the bank entered a period of strong growth, recording an impressive increase in both size and profit, far exceeding the industry average. By 2017, OCB surprised the Vietnamese financial and banking market as it became the first bank to announce the completion of risk management products as per to Basel II international standards.
Rising to the top performing bank group after 25 years
OCB currently has a nationwide network with more than 134 transaction points. The bank has been pioneering in implementing synchronous digital transformation and is currently the leading bank among credit institutions in Vietnam in this field.
In 2018, OCB claimed to be the first integrated bank in Vietnam, allowing customers to unify transaction channels through the OCB OMNI digital banking application. After nearly 3 years of implementation, OCB has successfully implemented a comprehensive digital transformation, towards modern financial products and services that are digitised on a high-tech platform, by promoting the connection of OPEN API with major partners, fintech companies, schools, hospitals and apply many modern technologies such as payment via QR Code, biometric identification, online identification technology (eKYC), marketing automation, AI Call, and chatbox.
With the outstanding features and utilities of the OCB OMNI application, OCB has continuously received awards from prestigious domestic and foreign assessment organisations. Recently, in July 2021, OCB was honoured to be the only bank to receive the “Best Digital Banking App 2021” award in Vietnam awarded by the International Finance, marking the 4th year in a row that this bank has been honoured with prestigious awards such as the Best Digital Transformation Bank – Vietnam 2020, Most Innovative Digital Banking Solution – Vietnam 2019 and “Fastest Growing Digital Bank – Vietnam 2019.
During the last 5 years (2016-2020), OCB’s business results grew spectacularly. The growth rate of assets and profits holds the No. 1 position in the whole system. The bank’s charter capital increased nearly 3 times, from 4,000 billion to 10,959 billion. Credit growth tripled in size within 5 years, thanks to a strong focus on Retail and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
In terms of performance indicators, OCB ranked in the top 4 most effective banks in Vietnam, voted by Forbes. The bank showed impressive profitability as return on average assets (ROAA) and net return on average equity (ROAE) ranked 2nd in the entire banking system. These indicators highlighted OCB’s good financial health in the current market.
OCB’s stock to be listed on Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange on January 28th, 2021
Given the bank’s success and its potential for further growth, OCB has been recognised by credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Service, affirming its credit rating with a favorable outlook of “positive”. The bank continues to maintain the counterparty risk assessment (CRA) and counterparty risk ratings (CRR) at Ba3, which is the highest rating in Vietnam as of now.
In addition to the assessment of profitability exceeding the market average, Moody’s also highly appreciated OCB’s capital capacity through charter capital increases and especially the participation of strategic shareholder – Aozora Bank of Japan (AOZ) – one of the most efficient banks in Japan in 2020 – with a shareholding rate of 15 percent. This cooperation has been honored in the Top 10 typical investment and M&A deals in 2020.
On January 28, 2021, OCB was officially listed on Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange – HoSE with more than 1 billion shares, officially joining the billion-dollar club of the market, with a market capitalisation of nearly 35,000 billion dong (recorded on June 11th, 2021), confirming the value and financial capacity of the bank.
In recent years, OCB’s earnings per share (EPS) have reached over 3,000 VND and the dividend payout to shareholders of the bank is at 25 percent. According to the report of the first quarter of 2021, OCB enrolled in the group of 22 enterprises in Vietnam with a profit of over a trillion VND. Previously, in 2020, OCB also entered the Top 10 most profitable banks in the system.
Mr. Trinh Van Tuan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OCB, said, “The outstanding achievements in the past 25 years have affirmed the bank’s position on the journey of building trust, bringing prosperity to shareholders, partners; investors and customer. With adequate preparation of people, technology, infrastructure, management system. OCB is confident to reach its goal of standing in the top 5 best private commercial joint-stock banks in Vietnam.”