The history of ACLEDA Bank – since its establishment in 1992 – is filled with major achievements, historic firsts and significant milestones.
Under the stewardship of founding member Dr In Channy, ACLEDA has developed from an NGO with its main office at the Russey Keo Industrial Technical School in Phnom Penh to become a driver of the Cambodian economy.
Having transformed from a specialist into a commercial bank, ACLEDA has grown into the Kingdom’s leading financial institution, with total assets of $7.501 billion and branches across all 24 provinces and Phnom Penh.
The move into commercial banking was “compatible with our aim to become Cambodia’s leading bank for the people, and our new products and services will both complement and provide depth to our traditional business of supporting wealth creation in the community at large,” Dr In Channy said in 2003.
The financial institution has grown to offer a comprehensive branch and ATM network, and the ACLEDA Mobile app, and became the first commercial bank in the Kingdom to list on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).
ACLEDA started life in 1992 under the UNDP/ILO Project CMB/92/010 as Local Economic Development Agencies (LEDA), a local NGO, with support from the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Development Programme.
On January 19, 1993, LEDA – with 28 members including Dr In Channy – held the First General Assembly to vote on a name change from LEDA to Association of Cambodian Local Economic Development Agencies – establishing ACLEDA.
Serving as an NGO for micro and small enterprises development and credit in 1993, and with sustainable growth – and assistance from USAID, the IFC’s Mekong Project Development Facility and the UNDP – it began a drive to become a commercial bank.
This was intended to provide a secure regulatory framework lacking under its previous status and enable it to enlarge its range of funding options to support the expansion of its core micro-finance business.
ACLEDA NGO transformed completely into a specialised bank on October 7, 2000,with paid up capital of $4 million, becoming a commercial bank on December 1, 2003, with some $13 million.
Having opened branches in Modulkiri and Rattanakkiri in 2006, the ACLEDA network extended across all of the Kingdom’s 24 provinces and Phnom Penh, with the Cambodian bank also having operations in neighbouring Laos and Myanmar.
And ACLEDA’s expansion has been in the digital realm as well. With the launch of “ACLEDA Unity” in July 2010, it was one of the first Cambodian banks to release a mobile phone banking service.
The latest iteration ACLEDA mobile app launched in early 2021 boasts more than two million users.
In May 2020, ACLEDA made history by becoming the first commercial bank in the Kingdom to list on the Cambodian stock exchange.
“As the first listed bank on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), we had to transform our operations and reporting standards to fulfill the detailed requirements of the National Bank of Cambodia NBC, the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia [SERC], and the CSX.
“Prior to listing on the CSX, we had only eight institutional shareholders.
“After listing, the number of shareholders increased to nearly 4,000 shareholders –both from institutions and those from the general public – who placed enormous trust in us,” Dr In Channy said of the bank’s listing.
The bank’s commitment to the Kingdom and its banking sector is reflected in the 2016 announcement of obtaining a licence for the ACLEDA Institute of Business (AIB).
The creation of the higher education institution that majors in Banking and Finance was in response to the need for training and skills capacity development in the sector.
AIB is open to local and international students and graduates, participants from other organisations and the public, as well as ACLEDA Bank staff.