Cambodia’s Banking Sector Emerges as Regional Contender, Marks Three Decades of Resilience and Innovation

Phnom Penh, Celebrating 30 years of growth, the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC) highlights significant strides in digital transformation and financial inclusion, positioning the nation as a rising force within the ASEAN financial sector.

Propelled by visionary leadership and a supportive regulatory framework, Cambodia’s banking sector has achieved remarkable growth. Total banking system assets now stand at $84.3 billion, representing a substantial 265% of GDP. This expansion is fueled by a notable increase in credit extended to customers, reaching $57.6 billion or 180% of GDP, complemented by a surge in deposits totaling $47.9 billion with 18.6 million accounts.

“Cambodia’s banking sector has seen significant transformation and development over the last three decades, leading to another era of robust, resilient, and sustainable growth,” stated Mr Rath Sophoan, Chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia. He further said that the Association of Banks in Cambodia has been actively working in its mission to serve its members by facilitating communication with all partners to collectively benefit the sector and its members.

Cambodia’s emphasis on digital innovation sets it apart. The pioneering Bakong System, a national digital payment platform, enables efficient and low-cost transactions both domestically and across borders with Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, China, and Vietnam. This initiative underscores Cambodia’s pivotal role in fostering regional economic integration and digital financial services.

Alongside innovation, enhancing financial accessibility is a priority. The percentage of formal financial service users has risen significantly from 59% in 2015 to 67% in 2021, moving closer to the national target of 70% by 2025. This is supported by a broader strategy to embed financial literacy into the national education curriculum, equipping future generations for a more inclusive financial ecosystem.

Her Excellency Dr. Chea Serey, Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, emphasized the collaborative efforts: “Over these 30 years, Cambodia’s banking system has rapidly developed, continued to maintain resilience, and contributed to robust economic activities. At the same time, the growth in assets, credits, and deposits in the banking sector has demonstrated the confidence of the public and investors towards Cambodia’s banking system and economic recovery,” she said. 

As Cambodia progresses, ABC plays a critical role in ensuring stability and innovation. Initiatives like the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2019-2025 further demonstrate a steadfast commitment to expanding access to formal financial services and bolstering the Cambodian economy.

About the Association of Banks in Cambodia:

Founded in 1994, the Association of Banks in Cambodia is a professional and non-profit local association dedicated to promote the development of Cambodian financial system and to protect the legitimate interests of its members. The association conducts its activities in close co-operation with regulator, government, development partners, local and international stakeholders, associations, and/or institutions and serves as a channel of communication between those institutions and the banking community to achieve its mission.

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