The total number of loan accounts reached 1.54 million nationwide in December, rising by 3.45 per cent “from the previous quarter”, according to the latest report from Credit Bureau (Cambodia) Co Ltd (CBC).

“Out of this number, 79.43 per cent comprised of personal finance loan accounts while a much smaller share was recorded for credit card loans – 8.24 per cent – and mortgage loans – 12.33 per cent. This increase was seen in all regions of the Kingdom: 5.9 per cent in Tonle Sap, 3.2 per cent in Coastal, 3.1 per cent in Plateau and 2.6 per cent in Plain region,” it said.

“[The] consumer loan balance continued to rise, increasing at plus 3.82 per cent as of December 2022. By the end of the quarter, there was a $14.32 billion outstanding consumer loan balance,” it added. All percentage changes in the report appear to be quarter-on-quarter.

“Although mortgage loan shares only 12.33 per cent of total loan accounts, in terms of the amount it captured more than half of the total consumer outstanding loan balance with the share of 55.81 per cent, whereas personal finance loans accounted for 43.35 per cent.

“The share of credit card loans in terms of its outstanding balance remained low at 0.84 per cent.

“Overall, loan balance saw a positive growth in all regions – Tonle Sap 18.8 per cent, Coastal 2.5 per cent, Plain 1.1 per cent, and Plateau 0.9 per cent,” the report added.

CBC CEO Oeur Sothearoath said in the report that loan quality had improved, highlighting a drop in the 30+ DPD ratio, or proportion of loans past-due for more than 30 days, from 2.60 per cent in the third quarter to 2.51 per cent in the fourth.

He added that consumer credit performance “remained stable in both number of loan accounts and loan balance” in the fourth quarter of 2022 ended December 31, despite a slowdown in applications.

The report confirmed that overall consumer credit applications dropped by four per cent. Personal finance applications slid by six per cent, with the Plateau region recording the largest decline, at 14 per cent, it said.

“Credit card applications [fell] by three per cent due to [a] contraction in [the] Tonle Sap [region of] 13 per cent, and Co[a]stal region [of] 11 per cent. However, mortgage application[s] rose by 15 per cent.

“The percentage change in the loan amount sought through credit application decreased by 11 per cent which was rapidly down from the [third] quarter – plus three per cent,” the report said.

It pinned “the changes” on 11 per cent, five per cent, and 11 per cent respective decreases in the totals of the amounts requested in applications sorted in the categories of “personal finance”, “credit card” and “mortgage”.