The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) issued Circular No. 16/2010/TT-NHNN on 29 June 2010 (Circular 16) to provide guidelines on the implementation of Decree No. 10/2010/ND-CP of the Government dated 12 February 2010 (Decree 10) on credit information operations.

For information about Decree 10, see Mayer Brown's Legal Update on "Decree 10 on Credit Information Operations" of 19 March 2010.

The following are some main points of Circular 16:

Governing scope and applicable entities

Circular 16 regulates:

  • Conditions and procedures for application for a credit information operation certificate (Certificate) for qualified credit information companies (CICs)
  • Operations of CICs
  • State management of credit information operations

and applies to the following entities:

  • CICs
  • Credit institutional providers
  • Borrowers
  • Other relevant institutions and individuals

Conditions and procedures for granting Certificates

Circular 16 sets out minimum requirements on information technology infrastructure; minimum charter capital of VND 30 billion; qualified managers of a CIC; a feasible business plan; undertakings from at least 20 commercial banks to provide their credit information; and written agreements with these banks on the process of collating, analysing, filing and providing credit information.

The application file comprises application for a Certificate, business registration certificate and documents evidencing the satisfaction of the above conditions, including charter of the applicant; contract with Internet service providers; list of and explanations on information technology equipment and information software; confirmation on the charter capital of no less than VND 30 billion; list and curriculum vitae of managers; business plan; written undertakings from commercial banks on information provision; and written agreements between the applicant and these banks on the process of collating, analysing, filing and providing credit information.

This application file is made in five sets and submitted directly to the SBV, of which there must be at least two sets of original documents or copies duly certified by the competent bodies.

Operations of CICs

Circular 16 specifies sources of information, scope of collated information and the obligation to refrain from distorting information and copying credit information products to supply to a third party.

Credit information products must be used as reference documents and/or supplemental information to users. It is the user who will be responsible for their own decisions when using credit information products. The CIC is obligated to alert the user about the principles and scope of using credit information products.

State administration over credit information operations

The SBV Financial Supervision Agency is responsible for supervising credit information operations of CICs. The SBV Credit Information Centre will act as the focal body in receiving and processing reports of CICs and providing them to other SBV units in accordance with their functions and tasks.

The Credit Information Centre acts as the focal body to carry out annual periodic inspections of the operations of CICs and in necessary cases, it may conduct irregular inspections.

The Credit Information Centre may request other SBV departments such as the Financial Supervision Agency, the Information Technology Department and the Legal Department to take part in an inspection of the operations of an CIC.

Circular 16 took effect on 5 July 2010.

For inquiries related to this Legal Update, please contact:

Dao Nguyen (

Cuong Nguyen (

Thinh Dan (

Learn more about our Vietnam offices and Banking & Finance practice.