The development of the Vietnam banking system has closely linked with the national cause of revolution and construction.
Before the August Revolution in 1945, Vietnam was a feudal-colonial country under the French colonialists’ rule. The banking and credit system was founded and protected by the French colonialists through the Indo China bank. Its functioned as both the central bank of the whole Indochinese region (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) and a commercial bank. The bank was an effective tool for the colonial policy of the French government and enriched the French capitalists. Thus, one of the key tasks of the August Revolution then, was to build an independent and autonomous monetary and banking system. The task was fulfilled by 1950, when the anti-French resistance war grew stronger, obtaining many triumphs in the battled field, and expanding the liberalized region. In this context, the development required economic and financial activities to be improved and promoted to meet new demands.
On the basis of the new economic and financial policy set out in the 2nd Congress of the Vietnam Workers’ Party (February,1951), President Ho Chi Minh signed Decision 15/SL on the establishment of the Vietnam National Bank – Bank of the first people’s democratic state in Southeast Asia in order to carry out five urgent missions: issuing banknotes, managing treasury, carrying out credit policy in order to facilitate production and coordinating with the trade authorities for monetary management and struggling against the enemy.
The foundation of the Vietnam National Bank was the result of the struggle process to develop an independent, and autonomous monetary and credit system, marking a new development step, i.e, changing the quality of the national monetary and credit sector. Pursuant to Circular 20/VP – TH issued by the General Director of Vietnam National Bank under authorization of the Prime Minister on January 21st ,1960, the Vietnam National Bank was renamed as the State Bank of Vietnam, in accordance with the 1946 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Following the liberation of the South in 1975, the takeover of the Republic of Vietnam National Bank and private capitalist banks was a starting point of banking activities all over the country under the banking activity regime of a central planning economy. In July 1976, the country was officially unified and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was founded.