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Canadia Bank CEO articulates strategy of ‘truly local’expansion

Canadia Bank CEO articulates strategy of ‘truly local’expansion

14 Michael Lor
CEO of Canadia Bank Plc​ Michael Lor.

Michael Lor was appointed the CEO of Canadia Bank Plc, Cambodia, in July 2011. In leading the Bank’s senior management team, he is responsible to key areas of competitive business transformation including business expansion, process enhancements and optimisation, customer experience, risk management, corporate governance and complaints and leadership development.
Lor sat down with the Post’s Moeun Nhean for an interview.

Our readers want to understand Canadia Bank’s secret for success. Can you give us an overview of Cambodia’s banking industry today where 35 banks serve a population of more than 14 million people?

Canadia Bank is leveraging our strong pedigree and reliable history to transform and build a comprehensive financial services provider. For over 20 years the bank has grown steadily and expects continued steady and sustainable growth for years to come. Equal importance is placed on growing revenue and profits as well as on strong liquidity and capital position.

Canadia Bank recognises that to remain the leading bank in Cambodia, it is imperative that the bank respond appropriately and decisively to new market conditions and realities. Much of this has entailed leveraging our strong brand and experienced management to embark on ambitions but realistic goals. We devote great attention and resources to ensure that we streamline operations and become more efficient in how we conduct business with and for our customers.

Today, Canadia Bank remains the safest bank in Cambodia. Local and global customers and banking partners are assured that Canadia Bank balances growth aspirations with a strong and stable balance sheet.

Despite significant growth ratios, we have maintained our loans to deposit ratio conservatively at 69 per cent and our regulatory liquidity ratio at 17.3 per cent. Our total capital adequacy radio remains among the highest in the industry at 21 per cent and our solid total shareholder’s equity position of US $204 million, which is comfortably above the minimum regulatory requirement, augurs well for the continued business expansion of Canadia Bank in the near future.

Canadia Bank is truly a local Cambodian Bank with its growth, culture and existence completely entwined with the Cambodian people and economy; simply put,” we are here to stay”.

How many branch offices does Canadian Bank have nationwide?
By the middle of this year our distribution network will comprise 48 branches and more than 80 ATMS located nationwide across Cambodia. Our aspiration is to be in every single province where our customers are located. Very shortly, we would also be announcing the launch of our internet banking services for both our individual and corporate customers.

What is Canadia Bank’s recent financial performance?
Canadia Bank Plc reported financial performance for fiscal year ending 31 December 2012, with growth of total deposits by 22 per cent to US$1.28 billion, and also grew loans book by almost 20 per cent to US$880 million. Amidst very competitive environment, Canadia Bank grew loan its portfolio in a disciplined manner placing priority on credit quality. With improved efficiency, total operating income jumped more than 35 per cent compared to 2011, to reach US$70 million. The Bank’s total assets continue its upward path and grew by 23 per cent to reach almost US$1.56 billion.

The year 2012 resulted in impressive financial gains and standing. Our total income increased by 35 per cent. A total of $70 million, and driven by net interest income, accounting for 52 per cent, and net fee income, accounting for 25 per cent; Our cost to income ratio improved by seven per cent; Thanks to effective action on delinquent loans, NPL ratio improved to 4.5 per cent as compared to 5.3 per cent prior year; Our solvency ratio continues to be solid, which at 17.3 per cent we are above NBC’s solvency requirement; Our return on equity increased to almost 19 per cent, which is higher than target, and also higher than our prior two years; During 2012 net profit for Canadia Bank grew by 63 per cent as compared to 2011l.

What is Canadia Bank’s recipe for success?
Canadia Bank is building a strong and resilient organisation; with sustainable business franchises and a long term view, and we are well positioned and prepared for competition.

In keeping with a history of disciplined growth, the Bank will continue to grow and strengthen existing core business line and grow its core commercial banking business. In due course we will also announce the consummation of our respective partnerships with two significant regional partners with strong reputations and brands, and standing in their respective markets, to start two new business franchises, which will transform Canadia Bank into a Universal Banking Group; capable of delivering a complete range of financial services from commercial banking, microfinance, life and general assurance, and investment banking to our existing and potential customers. Strategically, Canadia Bank will become a clearly diversified and successful Cambodian financial institution, able to stand strong and tall amongst the regional banks within ASEAN.

Meanwhile, we also continue to receive requests and invitations from large and established financial institutions with strong global presence expressing their keen interest to partner with Canadia Bank and to partner their respective customers’ intentions to invest into Cambodia.

These recent developments point to and provide clear indication of strong growth, and continued financial strength and leadership Canadia Bank’s reputation and standing amount financial institutions globally is a direct result of our disciplined approach to growth, financial soundness and fidelity to our customers, shareholders and employees.

Having built a strong and successful banking franchise in Cambodia, we have now, a clear and logical aspiration to grow our franchise into the region. We are presently evaluating an opportunity to enter a neighboring country, partnering with a strong and establish institution in the region and we hope to be able to make an announcement within the next quarter.

In addition, we are also watching the exiting developments in Myanmar as well as in China with a keen interest.


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