Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB) has obtained preliminary approval to launch a foreign-owned subsidiary bank in Vietnam.

The State Bank of Vietnam is expected to offer an in-principle nod for the FOSB licence to UOB by June 2017.

UOB, which is the first bank in Singapore to receive such a licence, said that the move will allow it to expand its branch network in Vietnam, extend financial support and serve consumers and businesses beyond Ho Chi Minh City.

UOB deputy chairman and CEO Wee Ee Cheong said: “We were the first Singapore bank to open a foreign bank branch in Vietnam in 1995 and since then have maintained an unwavering commitment to the country.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Vietnamese authorities and the local financial institutions to contribute to the development and progress of the country, its industry and its people.”