The financial regulatory challenges of Lao state-owned commercial banks in joining ASEAN Economic Community : a management perspective

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Phouthavong, Bounpaserth
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Seth, Nitin
Nel, Pieter
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
financial sector
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)
ASEAN banks
Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL)
state-owned commercial banks
qualified ASEAN banks (QABs)
bank integration
Basel standards
International financial reporting standards
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Phouthavong, B. (2020). The financial regulatory challenges of Lao state-owned commercial banks in joining ASEAN Economic Community : a management perspective. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH SUB-QUESTIONS: 1. What are the benefits and disadvantages for Lao banks in joining AEC? 2. What are the financial regulatory challenges management face in joining AEC? 3. What financial regulatory strategies should the management of Lao banks adopt to compete with other ASEAN member banks? ABSTRACT: Joining the ASEAN economic community (AEC) brings both positive and negative impacts to Laos. The Lao banking sector is directly affected by ASEAN economic integration, specifically Lao state-owned commercial banks. Recently, Lao state-owned commercial banks are facing difficulties of joining ASEAN economic community because this integration requires Lao banks to improve and amend their financial regulations to meet the international standards. Moreover, AEC will create a high level of business competition among ASEAN members and business partners. This means that AEC will change business environments of ASEAN, create business challenges and offer business opportunities for ASEAN members. Consequently, Lao state-owned commercial banks need to understand and analyze their weaknesses, strengths, challenges and business status so that can create business strategies to again competitive advantages and compete with foreign banks who will come to invest in Laos. This qualitative research study aims to investigate the perspective of managers on the financial regulatory challenges of Lao state-owned commercial banks in joining AEC, particularly in terms of reaching the international financial standards as well as exploring the business strategies of Lao banks to compete with foreign banks. In order to achieve the goals of the research, the semi-structured interview is employed to collect data from 11 participants (bank managers) of Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL). According to the research findings, it reveals that the challenges of Lao state-owned commercial banks consist four main factors which are lacking skilled labour of Lao banks, the limitation of upgrading and supporting IT systems to improve service qualities and banking products, lacking of funds to support business activities and the increasing of banking foreign investment. Besides, there are seven areas that Lao banks needs to take into their business strategies including improving human resource development, IT system development, financial regulation development, organisation development, customer relationship development, banking co-operation development and capital development. Finally, this research study also recommends some key areas that Lao state-owned commercial banks can take into consideration such as promoting the knowledge of AEC more, promoting the awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of financial regulations and capital management, promoting Lao banking co-operation as well as improving customer relationships
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