Independent financial information provider Credit Bureau (Cambodia) Co Ltd (CBC) has announced a commitment of $1 million to promote financial inclusion in the Kingdom.
The sum will support the National Bank of Cambodia- (NBC) developed National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) 2019-2025, centred on initiatives around responsible lending, gender-inclusive access to finance, and financial education, according to CBC.
The firm pointed out that some 59 per cent of Cambodians do not have access to formal financial services, whereas 29 per cent of adult Cambodians are completely excluded from access to formal as well as informal finance.
Priority activities in NFIS 2019-2025 include the promotion of innovative credit products, consumer empowerment and protection, financial sector transparency, among others that aim to reduce financial exclusion of women by half from 27 per cent to 13 per cent and increase usage of formal financial services from 59 per cent to 70 per cent by 2025, it noted.
CBC said it will also join hands with players in the Cambodian financial ecosystem to further strengthen progress on financial inclusion.
Strengthening reporting and supporting responsible lending through expansion of coverage of reporting financial institutions will be a key focus area under the plan, it said.
Enabling women’s access to finance, promoting financial literacy on credit reporting, digital finance education and consumer protection will be priority areas, it added.
CBC chairwoman and NBC assistant governor Dr Chea Serey said: “Financial inclusion is a strong enabler of addressing country’s economic growth and reducing inequality.
“As a key financial infrastructure in the country, CBC’s support shall bring synergy in NBC’s initiatives in driving financial inclusion in the country.
“CBC’s support areas shall help further improve inclusive and efficient credit markets, minimise transaction costs and reduce consumer vulnerabilities,” she said.
CBC CEO Oeur Sothearoath said: “We would like to express our commitment to support the implementation of NFIS 2019-2025 and contribute to enable wider access to financial services to all Cambodians thereby promoting their economic opportunities and well-being.”
CBC said it manages the most comprehensive credit reporting system in the Kingdom, covering credit histories of more than seven million borrowers from more than 170-member financial institutions under the NBC’s Prakas on Credit Reporting from the National Bank of Cambodia.
This prakas enables lenders to quickly check credit histories of borrowers without which the whole decision process becomes very lengthy and tedious, the firm said.