South Korea's Woori Bank has secured in-principle approval from the central bank of Vietnam to launch a wholly owned subsidiary in Vietnam.

Woori Bank is the second Korean lender after Shinhan Financial Group to receive the approval to launch a wholly owned unit in Vietnam.

With the approval from the central bank, Woori Bank has joined the league of other wholly foreign-owned banks in Vietnam, namely HSBC Viet Nam, ANZ Viet Nam, Standard Chartered Viet Nam, Hong Leong Viet Nam in addition to Shinhan Viet Nam.

The bank plans to set up the new subsidiary in Hanoi by October 2016.

It already has branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and plans to add three new branches in Vietnam in 2016 and eventually expand its branch network to 20 in the next few years.

In addition, the bank also intends to launch its credit card services in Vietnam in the first half of 2017 and expand its mobile banking service Wibbe Bank to strengthen its foothold in Vietnam.