Another year of milestones for Acleda Bank

Dr So Phannary, executive vice president and group chief of operations officer at Acleda Bank
Dr So Phannary, executive vice president and group chief of operations officer at Acleda Bank. Supplied

Another year of milestones for Acleda Bank

It has been another strong year for one of Cambodia’s largest and most respected financial institutions, Acleda Bank.

Acleda continued to ramp up its product offerings, exceed its own financial expectations, carry on its regional expansion and gain notable international recognition for its performance this year.

At the end of September, on the loan side, Acleda had close to 360,500 clients - achieving 95 per cent of its annual plan just nine months into the year. Of those customers, the banks loan book of $1.86 billion exceeds its annual budget.

For deposits, at the third quarter mark of 2014, Acleda has 1.39 million accounts with a balance of $2.8 billion, some 109 per cent of the annual budget.

And there is still room to move in the bank’s portfolio risk ratio, currently at only 0.74 per cent with an annual plan of 1.25 per cent.

“Offering the largest branch network and most modernised IT system is the competitive advantage for which the bank is well known,” says Dr So Phonnary, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Acleda Bank.

Leading the way with various products across its lending and deposit lines, as well as both local and overseas remittance services, trade finance products and electronic banking services, Acleda is setting itself apart from the rest, Phonnary says.

The financials are just one indication of the bank’s rise. A growing customer base means an expanding support network of staff and services.

At the end of September, Acleda had grown to nearly 11,000 staff, more than 250 branches and offices, and 216 ATMs. The bank has close to 2,000 point-of-sale terminals, has issued more than 780,000 ATM cards and over 7,000 Visa credit cards. About 139,400 Acleda clients are registered for mobile banking and another 4,400 for internet banking.

What started out 20 years ago as a national NGO to support financing for Cambodia’s micro and small enterprises, 2014 marked another year of milestones for Acleda Bank.

In May, the bank was adopted into the World Economic Forum’s group of Global Growth Companies, an exclusive club comprising some of the world’s fastest-growing medium-sized firms.

Acleda maintains a role in supporting public finances; providing a point of tax revenue collection for companies and individuals to pay their dues, as well as a government payroll service provider for some key ministries.

In August of this year, Japanese financial firm Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) bought out the International Finance Corporation’s stake in Acleda for $110 million. SMBC took on 27.6 million shares or a 12.25 per cent stake in the bank.

Significant as these achievements are, Acleda continues to grow.

Executive vice president and group chief operations officer Phonnary said the firm is looking at opportunities to diversify and expand sources of income by cross-selling products between the company’s subsidiaries, namely Acleda securities and the Acleda training centre, as well as it’s regional companies in Laos and Myanmar.

“In 2015, the bank plans to grow loans by at least 21 per cent and deposits by at least 23 per cent,” Phonnary says.

“Acleda Bank will offer new loan products such as financial leasing, and the bank will team up with best specialised or expert partners to provide new financial products such as syndicate loans and project finance,” she went on to say.

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