Consumer credit in Vietnam: the ambivalent effect of controversial debt collection

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REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAM WEBINAR

About the webinar

Vietnam is experiencing a consumer credit boom. This recent development raises an interesting paradox. On the one hand, the state and financial actors promote consumer credit as a tool to shore up financial institutions, depersonalize credit relationships, and eradicate an “archaic” but persistent informal sector characterized by moneylending gangs. black money and personalized credit relationships. On the other hand, banks and finance companies involve relatives, friends and employers of borrowers in private credit transactions. Additionally, financial companies hire aggressive collectors linked to black credit gangs to collect arrears. This paradox reveals an ambivalence in the consumer credit sector where formal lenders use collection practices that they accuse of being informal and abusive when used by loan sharks. This conference argues that the implementation of these practices in the face of political narratives and regulatory efforts to eliminate them both supports and subverts the development of consumer credit in Vietnam. This ambivalence is characteristic of transitional and emerging societies where formal rules and laws are out of sync and under-enforced with informal norms and practices.

About the speaker

Nicolas Lainez is a researcher at the Institute of Research for Development. He is based at CESSMA (IRD, University of Paris, INALCO) in Paris. He holds a doctorate. in Social Anthropology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. Before becoming an anthropologist, he worked as a photojournalist for the media and the NGO sector. He has worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Development Research, Visiting Scholar at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at NUS in Singapore. Her areas of research include financialization, credit, debt, migration, trafficking, gender and sexuality. His work has been published in American Anthropologist, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Geoforum, Time & Society, The Sociological Review, Culture, Health and Sexuality, and Journal of Vietnamese Studies.

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This webinar will take place entirely online. You can join the webinar on the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone or tablet) with an internet connection.

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