BSL and the perseverance in pursuing the sustainable development strategy



In 2023, BSL achieved a high credit growth rate of approximately 27%, significantly higher than the industry average growth rates for the leasing sector (according to data from the Leasing Association’s General Secretary) and the banking industry, which were 13.75% and 13.5% respectively. Mr. Nguyen Thieu Son, CEO of BIDV-SuMi TRUST Leasing Company (BSL), has confidence in the company’s sustainable development strategy and is committed to maintaining reliability to continue comprehensive growth in 2024.

Mr. Nguyen Thieu Son, CEO of BSL – BIDV-SuMi TRUST Leasing Company Limited

The sustainable development strategy is yielding effective results

In 2023, when the overall credit growth in the banking industry was 13.5%, BSL achieved a credit growth rate of 26.6% while maintaining a low non-performing loan (NPL) ratio. This is indeed a bright spot. So, what factors contributed to BSL’s impressive results?

We faced a year full of volatility and challenges in 2023. Global inflation tends to decrease but remained at a high level, interest rates were high, there were complex geopolitical tensions, and increased financial and monetary risks. These factors have slowed down global trade, consumption, investment, and economic growth.

In that context, the Vietnamese economy, particularly businesses, could not avoid being affected, especially manufacturing enterprises. Therefore, in the face of the global economic slowdown, they were the first and most visibly impacted. When the economy stagnated and orders significantly decreased, investing in machinery and equipment became a burden and a worrisome challenge for businesses.

This greatly affected the growth potential of credit institutions. Although the Government and the State Bank of Vietnam provided numerous directives and solutions to promote credit growth and support businesses and the economy, by the end of 2023, credit for the economy only grew by 13.5% compared to the expected 14%.

However, BSL has a long-term growth strategy and always has specific scenarios to cope with each market situation. In 2023, when conducting market analysis and evaluation, we always looked at the opportunities and aligned them with the company’s strengths to build specific strategies and plans, thereby expanding business with different industries, customer segments, and asset types. This strategy is implemented vigorously from the beginning of the year.

Specifically, we always developed diverse solutions and products to meet the diverse needs of customers. Starting with accessing areas where financial leasing had a competitive advantage, such as transportation, construction machinery, and manufacturing machinery and equipment, BSL continued to expand the coverage of leasing to various other sectors, conducting in-depth research to expand to potential customers in the future. This diversification strategy helped BSL maximize serving the unique needs of customers in multiple fields.

Parallel to diversification, BSL continuously improved customer services and introduced appropriate policies to provide effective solutions for each customer. In 2023, when many customers faced cash flow difficulties, with our diverse and specialized solutions such as sale and leaseback, we accompanied them in financial restructuring activities with the goal of becoming a long-term partner.

Furthermore, we closely adhere to the advanced risk management strategy through the selection, evaluation, and appraisal process of capital needs. We have maintained a non-performing loan ratio below 2% with BSL’s coverage ratio of non-performing loans reaching above 120%. Ensuring fast credit growth and good control of non-performing loans are both part of our strategic objectives. The achieved results are due to our steadfast commitment to action in line with the planned objectives.

BSL has outlined a long-term strategy, and this strategy has helped BSL achieve favorable business results. What exactly is this strategy?

From the early days of our operation, we were determined to pursue sustainable development in line with the company’s stated purpose: “To make Vietnamese society more sustainable and prosperous through the Power of Leasing”. In order to contribute to building a more sustainable Vietnamese society, BSL itself must be “sustainable” first, especially in a comprehensive sense, not only internally but also externally. BSL recognizes the need to establish a strong and resilient organization with a workforce that possesses the necessary capabilities, responsibilities, and a high ethical consciousness. This is essential for building a reputable company and working towards the long-term goal of contributing to the sustainable development of society and the community, including providing the best products and services, delivering added value to customers, partners, and shareholders.

During the early years, we focused on building a solid foundation, with human resources being one of the key factors. BSL is the only joint venture financial leasing company in Vietnam, with personnel from both parent banks, BIDV and SuMi TRUST Bank, joining the BSL team. BSL serves as a “bridge” between the two financial institutions from two different countries. Therefore, the task of connecting and establishing a common voice is of utmost importance. We also recognize that it is not only about connecting but also about building a corporate culture to shape the “BSLer” with prominent values, namely Integrity, Accountability, Innovation, and Collaboration.

Mr. Nguyen Thieu Son (in the middle) photographed with representatives from SuMi TRUST Holdings during the visit of the SuMi TRUST Holdings delegation to Vietnam

In 2021, we began to operationalize our specific strategy by setting a vision for 2027, in which we officially pursued a Sustainable Development Strategy with quantifiable targets aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Our strategy focuses on three pillars include Environment, Society, and Corporate Governance.

Recognizing the essential need for sustainable development, which involves innovation and digital transformation, in the 2021-2022 period, BSL planned and initiated a digital transformation project to enhance internal operational efficiency and provide better service experiences for customers.

Sharing the details of this strategy reveals that BSL has established long-term goals, directions, and action plans up to 2027. The results achieved in 2023 are a testament to the effectiveness of our long-term action plan. While we acknowledge that there may be fluctuations each year, we remain steadfast in our goals and actions, unwavering in our commitment to them.

The word “TRUST” and connection at BSL

Trust can be considered one of the most important factors in the operation of a business, especially financial institutions. In the name itself, BSL (BIDV-SuMi TRUST Leasing), the word “TRUST” stands out prominently. So, what is the significance of trust at BSL?

We are a joint venture company between two banks, BIDV and SuMi TRUST Bank. Therefore, it is natural that the abbreviations of the two banks are combined in our name. It reflects the origin of BSL as a financial leasing company formed through the collaboration of two leading institutions from two countries.

The word “TRUST” in SuMi TRUST also literally means “Trust” because the parent bank, SuMi TRUST Bank, is a trust bank in Japan.

Since “TRUST” implies asset management based on reliability and trust, we have adopted “TRUST” as our guiding principle. We always prioritize trust as the highest goal in our relationships with stakeholders, including shareholders, partners, customers, employees, and the community.

The message of BSL in 2024 is “Strength in Connection – Power in Togetherness.” How does cohesion manifest itself?

At any stage, from the establishment phase to achieving significant growth milestones, we recognize that without internal harmony and unity, we cannot create good value for the outside. The message “Strength in Connection – Power in Togetherness” is used to remind ourselves, the BSL team, that we are team players and together we steer the BSL ship. If an individual stops or rows in the opposite direction, the entire ship will capsize.

The group of employees of BSL company

Connection at BSL is also the commitment of BSL to continue demonstrating its role as a unit that strengthens the strategic relationship between BIDV and SuMi TRUST.

Lastly, and importantly, connection also signifies BSL’s commitment to always being connected with customers and partners, to share resources, benefits, risks, and to accompany them in the long term.

2024 – Caution and Perseverance in Pursuing Goals

What will BSL do in 2024 to maintain growth and pursue the set sustainable goals?

In 2024, BSL will focus on three major goals: continued rapid and secure growth, improved business efficiency, and enhanced satisfaction of partners and customers. To achieve this, we will continue to focus on our established strategies, pursue digital transformation and sustainable development goals.

We anticipate that 2024 will be a promising year, with increased public investment driving private sector growth and creating opportunities for diversified capital mobilization, which in turn supports the development of financial leasing. The development of green and circular economy trends will also lead to an increase in demand for green financing to invest in new technologies for green transformation. The influx of large waves of FDI enterprises to Vietnam will also provide opportunities for the development of financial leasing, as foreign businesses are familiar with leasing.

With BSL’s consistent perspective, we aim to maintain a continued breakthrough in our development in 2024 while remaining cautious and persistent in our established plans. We will introduce new financial leasing solutions that align with the needs of businesses, offer incentive programs for prioritized industries, and particularly expand programs related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, we aim to maintain a non-performing loan ratio below 2% and a coverage ratio above 100%.

Maintaining these indicators and, more importantly, adhering to legal regulations not only demonstrates BSL’s prudence and strong management capabilities but also ensures the maintenance and enhancement of trust and reliability from all stakeholders.

As a collective, BSL is committed to pursuing sustainable development, including innovation and creativity, to deliver the highest value to our customers and partners. We will uphold our core values, align with our goals, and expect continued successful development in 2024, maintaining sustainability and reliability in our operations.

Enhancing digital customer experience

At the beginning of 2024, BSL will launch a new website interface with a focus on enhancing the customer experience in the digital environment. The website will provide comprehensive information about BSL and its Financial Leasing services, based on research on customers’ digital experience, to deliver a comprehensive content experience. It aims to deliver a comprehensive content experience, allowing customers to access information about Financial Leasing services in a complete, easy, and convenient manner. Additionally, the website also offers customers an online leasing registration channel.