Q and A with General Manager Onishi Shizuo
What segment of the marketplace is MARUHAN Japan Bank going for?
We are currently focusing on a customer base of mainly small and medium sized, local Khmer businesses who have taken out personal (mainly savings) accounts.
The areas of the marketplace that we are currently working for are:
Students and other young people - for loan products to finance their education of their first bank account, agricultural business: predominantly rice millers, importers and exporters as well as loan and business products, clinics, hospitals and medical business products, manufacturing, hotels and construction. The owners and staff of these kinds of businesses are our customers, often with commercial loans.
How long have you been in Cambodia?
We opened on May 22, 2008.
What currency accounts do you offer?
We have a comprehensive range of accounts in USD, KHR, JPY, EUR, GBP, AUD and other major global currencies for personal and business customers. For personal customers we have everyday accounts that allow day-to-day money management efficiently and securely and these accounts include an ATM card and a passbook.
Our premium saver accounts are interest¬bearing accounts with the option of a savings passbook and an ATM card. We also have checking accounts. With our tiered investment accounts, the more customers save, the higher the interest we give them. This is great for maximizing interest returns on money held for short periods.
We also have term deposit accounts which are fixed-term deposits that offer a low-risk way for investors to earn a competitive, guaranteed rate of interest on deposits. We also have personal loans which can help people finance special purchases or cover essentials such as children’s education fees. There is no minimum or maximum size of loan and all loans are subject to discretion. We work hard to ensure we lend responsibly and one of our “relationship officers” helps people make the best financial decisions based on their particular circumstances by providing effective advice on how much they can afford to borrow based on an assessment of their disposable income.
For business customers including sole proprietors, limited companies and organisations we have checking accounts, tiered investment accounts, term deposit accounts with terms from one to 36 months and a “Term Deposit Certificate” can be used to secure credit facilities such as letters of credit, bank guarantees, shipping guarantees, overdrafts and other requirements.
Maruhan Bank also offers corporate and commercial loans which are appropriate for starting, managing or growing businesses of any size. We provide quick decisions and appropriate and flexible repayment terms and we accept a range of collateral types. Interest rates are competitive and flexible (fixed or variable). The application process is designed to be simple and easy to understand is supported by our dedicated and highly trained Relationship Management Team.
Our overdrafts provide short term support for a business in times of cash flow difficulties, when additional working capital is required for business development or to help consolidate existing debts. Interest is only paid on the amount drawn.
We issue bank guarantees which are guarantees issued by us for an account holder where we agree to pay a beneficiary up to a guaranteed sum when a valid claim, as dictated in the terms of the bank guarantee, is received. These are usually issued in lieu of advance payments or cash deposits. This guarantees a customer’s capability to meet payment obligations and makes them a more credible and attractive trading partner. It also removes the necessity for a customer to raise cash to meet deposit requirements and allows funds to be used to support working capital requirements.
Our private banking is our unique elite banking and wealth management service provided by a dedicated private banking team who commit to providing customers with a personalised and integrated service based on unique, long term relationship that allows us to partner with them to provide unparalleled quality advice and unprecedented levels of our customer service.
For example, private banking customers get a waiver of minimum balance and other fees, offsite account opening and management at their home and/or office, free account opening and waiver of maintenance fees, preferential interest rates, specially designed personal and business passbook(s), increased daily ATM withdrawal limits (up to US$5,000), prioritised customer service, a fully cash-secured overdraft facility on request, unlimited over-the-counter deposits and withdrawals.
We also have interest bearing deposit accounts for financial institutions, a unique range of interest bearing deposit accounts that offer highly attractive and preferential returns on investments made by financial institutions. These targeted, customer-centric accounts are serviced by a dedicated relationship management team, who are specially trained to serve banking professionals.
What would you like the public to know about MARUHAN Japan Bank?
We have superior and unprecedented levels of service. We classify ourselves as experts in ‘relationship banking’. This means we focus on providing our customers with unparalleled standards of service, performance and global reach. We take the time to know customers and tailor everything to their individual needs. Each customer has an experienced member of staff to take care of their needs that they can contact at any time and who will be familiar with their financial and banking history, financial aims and needs and who is ready to deal with whatever they need immediately. We have already set new industry standards in this area since entering the market and are committed to continuing to drive up standards of customer service.
ASEAN Strategy – In the last 12 months we have launched our ASEAN FINANCIAL BUSINESS NETWORK with MARUHAN Group overseas network offices in Myanmar, Lao PDR and Singapore. We now have a strong presence as a sophisticated financial services provider across the ASEAN region and are the only international banking group to have this kind of financial business service network in ASEAN. We see ourselves as an industry pioneer and are serious about continuing to deliver on the promise we have made to revolutionize the ASEAN banking industry. By 2015, when the ASEAN member nations have fulfilled their commitment to improve economic integration between the member countries, we plan to serve the new, inter-connected ASEAN region as the established leader in its financial sector.
We are the first ever Cambodian commercial bank to have a microfinance business partner (Sathapana Limited) within our Group of companies, and we believe this represents a significant step towards the breaking down of long standing barriers between the commercial banking and microfinance sectors and are proud to be the bank taking that first step.
Is the Cambodian branch part of a larger MARUHAN Japan Bank in Japan? How big is it, and what is its main business?
We are not a branch of Japanese Bank; we are a 100 per cent local Cambodian-licensed bank and our head office, in Phnom Penh, is staffed by expert Japanese and Khmer banking professionals.
MARUHAN Japan Bank is part of the Japanese MARUHAN Corporation Group.
What sectors of the Cambodian economy do you see as interesting and exciting?
We are encouraged that Cambodia’s economy continues to record solid growth and that GDP continues to accelerate. Garment exports and the tourist, real estate and construction sectors are all causes for optimism. We also expect to see increases in agricultural product exports; especially rice, rubber and maize, following the high priority put on the agricultural sector by the government.
Do you have an extensive loan portfolio and if so, what sectors do you like to lend into?
As well as personal loans to our private customers, we lend extensively to a wide range of industrial sectors and we work hard to ensure we have balance of sectors across our loan portfolio (i.e. the educational, agricultural predominantly rice millers/importers/exporters), medical, manufacturing, hotel and construction sectors.
How many people work at MARUHAN Japan Bank in Cambodia?
There are approximately 100 people working directly for MARUHAN Japan Bank and an additional 1800 officers at MFI Sathapana which is a member of the MARUHAN Group.
What plans do you have for expansion?
ASEAN Strategy – Through our ASEAN FINANCIAL BUSINESS NETWORK, we plan to continue the expansion of our commercial banking and MFI networks throughout the ASEAN region; so that, by 2015, when the ASEAN member nations have fulfilled their commitment to improve economic integration between the member countries, we are ready to serve the new, inter-connected ASEAN region as the established leader in its financial sector.
What kind of customers are you seeking and what kind of services you can do for them? In other words, how do you differentiate from other banks?
We are targeting commercial clients from the educational, agricultural (predominantly rice millers/importers/exporters), medical, manufacturing, hotel and construction sectors for business products and are also targeting the owners and staff of the same businesses as personal banking customers as well as students to offer them first bank accounts.
As well as the superior (unprecedented) levels of serviceand relationship banking strategy that we have in place, and which I outlined earlier, we are industry innovators and have committed to revolutionising ASEAN banking industry. In another step towards delivering on this promise, we are now on the way to launching our ground-breaking, highly sophisticated e-banking services – which I am proud to say will be the first internet banking system in Cambodia to offer full global functionality! This will be rolled out alongside the most sophisticated, global foreign currency (FX) services in Cambodia.