Bred Banque Populaire – part of the second-largest banking group in France – officially launched operations in Cambodia yesterday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its headquarters, marking the first venture of a European bank in the Kingdom since the late 1990s.
Guillaume Perdon, chief executive of BRED Bank Cambodia, said yesterday that the financial institution would offer tailor-made products geared for Cambodia’s fast-growing economy, according to a press release.
“Our objective is to close the gap and offer Cambodian people a trustful interlocutor with whom to talk freely about their projects and ambitions,” he said.
BRED Banque Populaire, part of the BPCE Group, is a cooperative bank with 150,000 members and $3.4 billion in equity capital. BRED currently owns a 12.25 percent stake in Acleda Bank, the Kingdom’s largest financial institution in term of assets, through its subsidiary COFIBRED.
The bank will now have to compete within Cambodia’s crowded banking sector, which according to the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), reached 37 commercial banks and 15 specialised banks by the end of last year.
Chea Chanto, governor of NBC, said during the inauguration ceremony yesterday that the presence of BRED signifies increased confidence of foreign investment from European countries in Cambodia’s financial sector.
“Cambodia’s banking sector continues to grow in both scope and scale in a safe and inclusive manner,” he said.
According to Chanto, customer deposits in the banking sector at the end of 2016 accounted for 64 percent of GDP, while credit issued to the private sector represented 71 percent of GDP.