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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Partnership between ANZ and HKL a boost to customers

Partnership between ANZ and HKL a boost to customers

Grant Knuckey, CEO of ANZ Royal Cambodia
Grant Knuckey, CEO of ANZ Royal Cambodia. Moeun Nhean

Partnership between ANZ and HKL a boost to customers

ANZ’s developing their local staff to be international bankers in the region

The partnership formed last year between ANZ Royal from Australia and Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL), a local microfinance institution in the Kingdom of Cambodia, will provide additional benefits to customers from both institutions.

Sitting down at his office on Kramuon Sor Boulevard, Grant Knuckey, CEO of ANZ Royal bank, explained the benefits between the two banking institutions. He said “the partnership and alliance with HKL is a pioneering one in the market. It’s the right formula for commercial banks and MFIs to cooperate for mutual benefit. One aspect of this is using technology solutions to allow customers to utilize one institution to pay to accounts in the other one, effectively in real-time”.

ANZ Royal have recently invested $10 million in a new payments and cash management system called Transactive, which Knuckey explained is one of the keys to making the partnership actually ‘functional’, as well as providing a world class transaction banking system to its own customers.

“The partnership also allows us to better support our customers in more remote areas of the country,” said Knuckey. “Effectively customers could access an ANZ Royal account even though they’re walking into a HKL branch.”

“For ANZ, we think that the Transactive investment is forward thinking, as opposed to building lots of branch infrastructure,” he said. “It helps customers make their businesses more efficient and profitable.”

ANZ is also a leader in human resource development. Every year the bank offers many opportunities for local staff to train at regional branches overseas.

“Our biggest resource is the quality of our team. We hire good people with huge potential. And then we train them to be great bankers.”

“There are many ways that we develop our staff, but a great thing is that we give them the opportunity to train across the ANZ network. This is not just Australia as people may think, but more often places like Singapore, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Laos,” he said.

“More than that, we have supported our staff to apply for Australian and New Zealand scholarships, allowing them to study abroad for one to two years. ANZ Royal staff have been very successful in gaining these scholarships.”

Each year there are at least 30 to 40 Cambodian staff trained overseas. “And over the last few years, some of our local staff have been placed permanently at our offices in China, Taiwan, Singapore and other regional locations,” he said.

“That’s an integral part of our commitment to develop and train our local staff,” he concluded.

ANZ staff share experiences

For the last ten years Sophina Khiev has worked for ANZ Royal bank, a time that has flown by. Beginning his career with ANZ Royal in the Business Development Unit offering payroll services for companies and NGOs, he moved across multiple roles in retail banking from managing premier banking to running the bank’s Olympic Market branch and mortgage business in 2008. Now he is the Associate Director for Multinational Corporate and Financial Institution Group for nearly two years after four years spent with Global Markets [business unit].

When he began his career, he recalled that he had little experience in the International Banking industry. However, over the years he has been offered various opportunities to broaden his skills across different parts of banking and climb the ladder.

“Without ANZ Royal, I may not have had the opportunities to learn so many things about great banking practices and enjoy those valuable overseas experiences that help built up my banking skill today,” he said. Sophina was often sent to train and work in ANZ’s overseas offices especially in Singapore and China. “I sometimes worked with our regional team to provide financial solutions for big companies that operate across the globe,” he said.

“During my secondment with Global Markets at ANZ Shanghai office, I have concentrated on understanding the flow of Chinese investment into Cambodia and connect those Chinese companies to our local team. I also worked with our Shanghai team to help ANZ Royal access to Chinese Yuan for our customers’ trade settlement,” Sophina added.

In terms of understanding the fast paced world of banking and investment, Sophina has learned the importance of ANZ’s regional connectivity and capability and how that would help customers’ investment and trading in Cambodia.

“In the banking industry, I think Cambodia is still presenting many opportunities as an emerging market and that’s a reason why we’ve seen increasing presence of foreign banks over the last few years,” Sophina said. “So we need to speed up, and that is why ANZ Royal bank in Cambodia is always forward-looking and brings in innovative banking solutions into the country to better serve our clients.”

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