C ambodia's National Bank has announced plans to launch treasury bills and
introduce electronic funds transfers to boost the banking sector.
have not yet decided what are going to be the technical characteristics of those
instruments, but they will definitely be the first riel-denominated asset that
will be offered to savers," said National Bank Deputy Governor Tioulong
"This will be one way to mobilise savings, both institutional
savings as well as private," said Tioulong, speaking at the Foreign
Correspondents Clubs of Cambodia on June 21.
She said the proposal had
already been approved by the cabinet and the bank expected the new bills to be
introduced soon, while plans to set up a clearing system were in the
She also said Cambodia was looking at electronic funds transfer
methods via debit cards to be used instead of cheques.
there had been important improvements in the sector in terms of strengthening
the supervisory role of the National Bank but most of the 28 licensed foreign
and Cambodian-owned commercial banks still deal in foreign currency.
society is not overbanked, the society is underbanked to the extent that it
doesn't use enough the banking services which a modern country
"The banking industry, for the time being, does not contribute
much to the local economy - to the disappointment of the public authorities.
They (banks) have not yet reached the level with which we would be happy," the
Paris-trained deputy said.
Cambodians are still suspicious of banks,
which together with the use of money were abolished by the Khmer Rouge regime in
the 1970s, and the vast majority prefer to keep their savings at home in cash or
gold. Most of the commercial banks were opened during the early 1990s and do not
provide deposit or loan facilities, and many of the banks are alleged to be
fronts for money laundering.