The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and Credit Bureau (Cambodia) Co Ltd (CBC) are hosting a two-day Regional Credit Reporting Conference “to enable the players in the region to move towards cross-border credit reporting and risk management in an era of rapid digitalisation”.

The conference, held in Siem Reap from November 17-18, gathers “more than 150 senior leaders and representatives from central banks, ministries, credit bureaus, financial institutions and fintech companies from more than 20 countries”, the NBC said in a statement.

CBC CEO Oeur Sothearoath believes that credit reporting has been an important mechanism for the financial industry, and sees the conference as an opportunity for relevant stakeholders across the region and globe to share experiences and technological developments.

“As we step into the second decade of credit reporting in Cambodia, our roadmap focuses on harnessing alternative data to enable access to finance to SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] and new to credit borrowers as well as harness cross border credit reporting in collaboration with credit bureaus in the region,” he said in the statement.

In her opening remarks, NBC deputy governor Ouk Maly underscored that credit reporting has already emerged as an essential element of infrastructure for the financial sector.

“By adopting cross-border credit reporting, we are aiming for a vision to expand the benefits multi-fold to across the borders. Now is the right time to harness cross-border credit reporting when our technological infrastructure is robust, cybersecurity measures are advanced and regulatory frameworks are evolving to meet the needs of the market,” the statement quoted her as saying.

NBC assistant governor Chea Serey said in her keynote address: “Trade, digitalisation and regulatory openness have been driving cross-border credit reporting in the last decade. Key fintech innovations such as open banking has further strengthened the need for cross-border data exchanges.

“As regulators, we create an ecosystem for the financial institutions and tech companies to innovate and serve the market with commercially viable solutions. However, we also need to play an important role in ensuring data ownership and governance frameworks that are operable across multiple countries to ensure credit bureaus and financial institutions can serve consumers and businesses effectively,” she said, according to the statement.

At the Regional Credit Reporting Conference, “senior experts from the International Committee of Credit Reporting [ICCR] presented and shared their expert insights on upcoming trends in the credit reporting industry”, the statement said.

It noted that the event was supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Business Information Industry Association (BIIA), Asia Credit Reporting Network (ACRN), Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC) and Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA).