Most local Vietnamese banks are nationalized. The best banking options for expats are the international banks with offices in Hanoi. These banks can facilitate the transfer of funds in and out of Vietnam, and have English-speaking staff in all branches. Vietnam is traditionally a cash-and-carry economy, but local branches of international banks will issue ATM cards (but not credit cards) and have well-developed resources for internet banking.

International transfers are a simple process, especially if you have a local account with an international bank like HSBC, ANZ or Citibank. In addition to your account information, you must have your bank’s address and Swift code.

HSBC and ANZ are the international banks with the largest number of ATMs in Hanoi. These ATMs will allow you to access account balance information, which local ATMs will not. However, local bank ATMs are everywhere in Hanoi, and their service is just as efficient and inexpensive as international ATMs. Vietcombank, Vietnam Agribank and many others have ATMs with local and foreign languages, and all can access funds from your home country account. All you need is your ATM card and PIN and you’ll be able to withdraw funds for an ATM fee of about a dollar. All major hotels have an ATM in the lobby, and they seem to be everywhere in the Old Quarter around Hoan Kiem Lake.

Banking hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Even local banks usually have employees who speak English, but your best bet for English-language service is in one of the following international banks. They can help you open an account, set up internet banking, and issue a debit card.

ANZ Bank
14 Le Thai To
Tel: 043 825 8190

Ground Floor, 17 Ngo Quyen
Tel: 043 825 1950

23 Phan Chu Trinh
Tel: 043 933 3189

Deutsche Bank
Suite 503, 63 Ly Thai To
Tel: 043 936 7255