Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tomato Specialized Bank makes giant strides in Cambodia



Tomato Specialized Bank makes giant strides in Cambodia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Tomato Specialized Bank makes giant strides in Cambodia

Tomato Specialized Bank (TSB) has had a tumultuous innings in Cambodia.

Right from its inception in 2008, the bank has been experiencing a series of poor performances. In 2015, for instance, TSB’s net profit amounted to $78,000 and a high non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of 14.4 percent.

However, things have taken a turn for the better for TSB with the introduction of advanced bank operation practices with active loan disbursements.

TSB experienced a phenomenal spike in growth in business performances, recording a net profit of $643,000, and a NPL ratio of 1.6 percent. This was a first for the bank, and alongside this feat the assets also grew 9.8 percent from US$8.8 million to US$9.7 million within a year. Its return on assets (ROA) has inched towards a healthy 6.6 percent, clearly outperforming most banks in the Kingdom.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

“Within a year, TSB had made remarkable accomplishments with the help of our valued customers and capable staff. The new practices we have introduced has managed to yield benefits. We are pushing forward and now all eyes are on 2017 and we are excited to see how we go about growth figures”, said DooYoon Kim, who joined TSB as CEO in January 2016.

TSB kick-starts CSR in Cambodia

As TSB expects to continue to grow this year, plans are in the works to give back. TSB has also been vociferously engaging in community outreach through multiple corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Two causes close to their heart include helping the underprivileged and supporting the arts. The recently concluded art exhibition held at Java Café was supported financially by the bank. It was their attempt to support young Cambodian artists.

“Artists of most countries, including developed countries, experience difficulties in pursuing their dream, mostly due to economic reasons. I have thought of ways for TSB to return the benefits it has enjoyed to Cambodian people, and one way is to support young and talented artists in Cambodia, who have had little opportunity to exhibit their talents,” Kim said.

He went on to add, “I once read an article from The Phnom Penh Post which reported that gifted Cambodian artists were giving up the arts to become tuk-tuk drivers instead. I understand that most Cambodian people do not have enough time and money to enjoy the arts yet.

“However, sometime in the future, when Cambodia becomes a more developed country, there will be a genuine demand for cultural abundance to enhance the quality of their lives. Trying to foster such artists then would be too late.”

TSB launches new microloan
In September last year, TSB introduced a special microloan with a one percent interest rate per month. This scheme attracted many Cambodian customers who borrowed the loans with higher interest rates from other banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs). With the loan project, TSB’s new loan applications tripled during the last three months.

Kim further explained: “In the wake of the global financial crisis, many developed countries lowered their benchmark interest rates to historical low levels. Some countries announced unprecedented minus interest rates. It implies that local banks, financing from developed countries, are able to lower their interest rates, thereby benefitting Cambodians.”

Kim attributes a significant part of the success to his team. The bank has actively supported its staff to reinforce their expertise by providing financial support for banking training courses and English communication courses. He also reinforced staff responsibility in their work and revamped organisational structure, enabling accelerated and accurate decision making, which has become a great strength of TSB.

As part of their plans for this year, TSB is reviewing an innovative loan product linked with insurance, a new concept in Cambodian financial markets, which it hopes to launch later this month.

“After analysing loan markets in Phnom Penh, I realised that traditional land-collateralised loans are not lucrative anymore due to severe competition among banks and MFIs. Therefore TSB has researched potential substitutes for the traditional loans,” Kim said.

“TSB strives to develop new loan products, which will benefit both Cambodian customers and TSB. TSB will continue to research and analyse diverse loan products in developed countries, and test the feasibility of them, thereby expanding itself both internally and externally”, Kim explained.

He added, “Some people have shown a concern that there is an uncertainty on how TSB can meet the National Bank of Cambodia’s capital increase requirements. However, with our devoted efforts to improve the performance, multiple domestic and foreign financial institutions have contacted me for acquisition or equity participations. I believe TSB will continue to contribute to the development of Cambodian society by providing competitive loans.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants