Doing things differently has delivered attractive dividends for Cambodia Post Bank, with the financial institution reaching more than $1 billion in total assets.

The number seven will remain in the memory for some time to come as Cambodia Post Bank Plc – one of the leading commercial banking and financial services institution – celebrates a milestone anniversary with more than $1 billion worth of total assets.

Inspired to establish a financial institution based on the age old tried-and-tested postal banking platform after visiting countries where postal banks have grown to be very significant and successful, Cambodia Post Bank founder and chairman Neak Oknha Dr Pung Kheav Se then chose to start a banking and financial services institution with a difference.

Between 2011 and 2012, he approached Cambodia Post, a state-owned public company regulated by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications with a proposal. After several rounds of discussions, an agreement was reached to form Cambodia Post Bank together with approval from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

A banking licence was then granted to Cambodia Post Bank on September 20, 2013 by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) on the premise of supporting the economic growth of the nation. Today, after seven years of operations, the financial institution has achieved in excess of $1 billion in total assets.

When Toch Chaochek, Cambodia Post Bank CEO was approached to give his views on the bank’s historic milestone celebration he said: “Reaching the $1 billion-in-total-assets mark is a historic milestone for Cambodia Post Bank. What makes it even more remarkable is that we managed to achieve it in just seven years. This success has been attributed to a combination of several factors – strategic partnerships, financial strength and human resources.

Cambodia Post Bank CEO Toch Chaochek.

“The strength of our company’s shareholders, which comprise Canadia Investment Holding Plc, Cambodia Post and Fullerton Financial Holdings – a subsidiary of the Temasek Group owned by the government of Singapore – is what gives us our strategic and financial strength. Our partnerships with leading Cambodian and international financial institutions provide us with local as well as regional knowledge, expertise and experience to reach our goals and aspirations.

“As for human resources, our workforce is made up of mostly Cambodian banking and finance professionals because we believe only local talent can truly understand the Cambodian market,” Chaochek said.

The combination of sound partnerships with leading financial institutions and inspiring leadership by Cambodians is behind the bank’s remarkable achievement.

As of today, the total assets at Cambodia Post Bank has reached $1,007 billion.

As a locally established banking and finance institution, Cambodia Post Bank understands the Cambodian market. It sees opportunities in offering its banking services to rural communities – a strategy of creating a deep presence in rural areas that some commercial banks are hesitant to pursue.

Cambodia Post Bank offers a range of services in the competitive financial sector.

It also prides itself in creating jobs for the people in the Kingdom. The bank employs an estimated 1,000-plus staff, with its subsidiary Funan Microfinance employing around 600.

Optimistic about further developing the nation’s financial talent and economy, he added: “The development of local talent overall will contribute significantly not only to the nation’s economic growth but also raise the level of professionalism among local banking and financial services professionals in our country.

“This has in turn allowed us to support the whole country and acquire more than 100,000 account holders.

“Our contribution however, is not just limited to job creation for Cambodians – the loans we provide to people and businesses in both rural and urban areas allow our customers to improve their standards of living and grow their businesses.”

As a home-grown bank, it is entirely operated by Cambodian staff.

Recent statistics show that at present microfinance institutions and commercial banks operating in Cambodia have 2.2 million loan accounts and 1.2 million saving accounts, respectively.

Data shows that there are more families who have loan accounts rather than a savings accounts, while those customers who have loan accounts are not able to access services provided by a savings account, Chaochek observed.

“Therefore, starting last year we embarked on initiatives to encourage people, especially our customers in rural areas, to open savings accounts, as well as offering the opening of payroll accounts for the employees of rural and urban manufacturing companies.

The bank boasts 55 branches across the Kingdom.

“In addition, to support our payroll account holders, we encourage and train them to perform transactions that include transferring funds to parents and family in the provinces. It is a big part of our ‘One Family, One Account’ campaign created to increase the opening of savings accounts and financial inclusion for rural folk,” he said.

Chaochek added that Cambodia Post Bank will support recent efforts by the NBC to de-dollarise the Cambodian economy with the recent call back of one-dollar and five-dollar bills.

“This as an initiative that will boost the economic pride of our people, he said.”