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NBC: Drop loan fees, cancel fines for debtors

NBC: Drop loan fees, cancel fines for debtors

In a recent announcement, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) requested banks and financial institutions to reduce loan-related fees and cancel fines for borrowers for the rest of the year as the Kingdom battles the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd (Prasac) executive vice-president Say Sony told The Post on Sunday that his institution has been lowering fees and assisting borrowers since the pandemic emerged.

“Our existing fees are pretty low. However, we are taking immediate actions to review our fee structures. We will consider reducing fees as much as possible to keep in line with the NBC’s requests.

“We want to keep growing together with our clients. There will be no penalty for late payments,” said Sony.

On March 27, the NBC issued a directive to all banks and financial institutions to restructure loans in four priority sectors cited by the NBC – tourism, garments, construction, and transport and logistics.

On April 23, Malaysia-owned Maybank (Cambodia) Plc made an announcement offering loan relief to customers affected by Covid-19.

A Maybank spokesperson said since the outbreak of Covid-19, the bank has offered financial advisory services to its customers impacted by the pandemic.

It also offers the restructuring and rescheduling of financial facilities as well as moratoriums on loan repayments.

On April 17, non-profit, membership-based NGO Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) said all members will strive to support customers facing difficulties and to ensure the sustainability of the sector.

They vowed to implement measures and resolve their clients’ issues “based on their internal principles, type of clients, impact and actual situation for each” client in compliance with NBC regulations, it said in a statement.

At the end of last year, Cambodia had 46 commercial banks, 15 specialised banks, 82 microfinance institutions (MFIs), 248 rural credit operators, 15 leasing companies and 20 payment service providers, said the NBC’s Macroeconomic and Banking Progress 2019 Report and 2020 Outlook.

Banks’ outstanding loan portfolio reached $24.5 billion last year while deposits stood at $25.5 billion. Among MFIs, loans reached $7.2 billion and deposits $3.9 billion, said the report.

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