The majority of western banks have branches in the main cities of Vietnam, so you may want to check if your current bank has offices in Vietnam. However, expats may want to set up a Vietnamese bank account before their arrival, or shortly afterwards, to avoid any problems finding the correct bank. Setting up an account is a simple process, so you shouldn’t worry if you don’t get a Vietnamese bank account before you arrive.
All of the banks, as anywhere, provide different packages and you need to look up which bank will suit your needs best. Most large banks also offer guides and brochures to their services in English. HSBC and ANZ are the most popular western banks. Vietcombank is also a popular choice and has many branches throughout Vietnam.
In order to open a bank account in Vietnam, you will need your passport, your work contract in Vietnam and a minimum deposit. The amount of the deposit will vary depending on which bank you choose. Some banks will ask you for a letter from your landlord to specify that you are living in Vietnam, however, most will just ask you for an address to contact you, and you may provide your work address. Upon opening your account, some banks will ask whether you want to bank in Vietnamese dong or in U.S. dollars, and this simply indicates which currency you will store your savings in.
Bank opening hours will vary from bank to bank, however, there is a general guide to opening hours. Most banks will be open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 11:30, and then again at 13:00 to 16:00. On Saturdays, banks will open only in the morning, from 08:00 to 11:30. There are a few large international banks that will open on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, but all banks are closed on public holidays.