As Woori Bank enters a new chapter in the Kingdom’s banking landscape, CEO-Nominee Kim Hongju is certain the institution will remain steadfast in delivering quality financial services through its multiple delivery channels, without wavering from its core values of promoting the government’s national agenda of financial inclusion and reaching out to people during trying times.

How has Woori Bank grown in the Kingdom over the years?

Woori Bank’s history in Cambodia began in 2014 when Woori Bank in South Korea acquired Malis Microfinance and renamed it Woori Finance Cambodia.

After seeing undeniable growth in the financial sector, Woori Bank Korea knew that the next step in our global expansion would be to further expand our presence in Cambodia.

In order to successfully achieve that strategy, it was clear that an acquisition of an established and trusted institution such as VisionFund was needed.

In 2018, Woori Bank of Korea (WB) acquired 100 per cent of the institution and renamed it WB Finance Co Ltd. In 2019, a merger between the two sister companies – WB Finance and Woori Finance Cambodia – in Cambodia took place and formed the new WB Finance Co Ltd.

Following a successful merger, Woori Bank Korea continued to show strong support by further injecting $100 million to accelerate our growth.

This capital injection helped us strategically expand as we look to offer more products and services, foster the best available talent and enhance our customers’ experience.

All these steps led us to this new exciting chapter of Cambodia’s banking that is the launch of Woori Bank Cambodia.

This operational launch brings us one step closer to our mission of supporting all Cambodians by providing better and more innovative financial services.

How did the bank navigate the Covid-19 pandemic when businesses and SMEs faced a credit crunch?

To sustain our clients as well as our business amid this unpredictable economy, and with support from the National Bank of Cambodia, our company has restructured loans and credit payments for clients who are in need.

Through this implementation, it has helped our clients to have some room to recover and rebuild their businesses.

Woori Bank is here to support Cambodians overcome any obstacles with Cambodians – and always be there for Cambodians.

Keeping to this philosophy, we believe that we will always come up with the best and most suitable solutions for our clients.

It is now a commercial bank. How is the mood among your shareholder and staff?

The excitement of our staff and shareholder towards this major transformation into becoming a commercial bank has been undeniable.

We all share the same common mission of providing the most comprehensive yet convenient banking experiences for all our current and future clients.

This upgrade in our operating licence will allow us to offer even more products and services while making banking easier and faster than ever.

The excitement can be seen in all the changes and additions highlighted by the launching of our premium branches, additions of exciting new corporate banking products and services, upgrades in our mobile banking apps and many more.

With your new identity, how will you position the bank in a competitive sector, and what are your top priorities for 2022?

At Woori Bank Cambodia, we focus on delivering seamless banking experiences for all customers. With being customer-centric at the very core of our strategy, Woori Bank focuses on improving every step of the consumer’s banking journey.

First, consumers can expect an upgrade of all 138 branches nationwide. Woori Bank has rolled out premium branches while upgrading existing branches to better serve our customers.

Furthermore, more than 100 ATMs will be rolled out throughout the year to accommodate our clients.

Corporate banking products and services will be introduced to clients who are looking for financial support for their growing businesses.

International trade products will also be rolled out to accommodate the need for overseas transfers. Credit and debit cards will also be introduced to support this digital economy.

These are just a few of the many new and exciting things that Woori Bank will introduce as we look to achieve our overall goal of becoming the fastest, the most convenient and the most innovative bank.

The upgrading of the bank was done while the Covid-19 threat still lingered and with the market trying to stabilise. Are you confident in this move?

Woori Bank remains very optimistic of the country’s future and is committed in our support for our customers.

Over the course of the last couple of years, Woori Bank has been preparing relentlessly for this very moment, and I can confidently say we are prepared to take on any obstacles that may come.

We look to leverage our exceptional talents, robust support from our shareholder and meticulously thought-out strategy to take on any challenges while capitalising on opportunities.

Is there anything you would like to share with our readers?

I would like to express my deepest gratitude and sincerest appreciation to the regulators, shareholder, board of directors, employees, and customers.

To the regulators – thank you for your enthusiastic support and invaluable guidance.

To our shareholder and board of directors – thank you for having confidence in our strategy and your unwavering support.

To the customers – thank you for placing your trust and making Woori Bank your choice for financial services.

I look forward to welcoming you all to the new chapter in Cambodian’s banking – welcome to Woori Bank Cambodia!