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Cambodia's best bank for SMEs 2019: Campu Bank

Campu Bank

Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow, Chairman, Campu Bank.jpg
Teh Hong Piow, Campu Bank

Campu Bank has an important characteristic that small or medium-sized enterprises look for in a bank: reliability. Its reputation as a trustworthy partner is one that its peers can only envy. It earned it partly by choosing its clients carefully. It is more conservative than other financial institutions in Cambodia because it takes its cue from its Malaysian parent, Public Bank.

In nearly 27 years of operations, Campu has continuously reported profits, while keeping a below-average non-performing loan ratio and one of the country’s highest NPL coverage ratios, this year at 0.9% and 194%, respectively.

Under the guidance of chairman Teh Hong Piow, Campu is both conservative and accommodating. Among its products is a ‘special financing package’, which allows SME borrowers to collateralize a loan with a soft title, such as a right to possess land but not own it.

To capture market share the bank uses methods that capitalize on and advance its reputation for reliability. One such approach is its ‘my neighbour, my customer’ campaign, which promotes financial inclusion, financial literacy and word-of-mouth marketing to strengthen its connection to Cambodia’s tens of thousands of neighbourhood micros and SMEs.

Its overarching approach is to generate an additional loan for every loan granted. And following a drive by the country’s central bank it lends in US dollars and riel.

The National Bank of Cambodia’s directive is for all banks to have 10% of their loan portfolio denominated in riel by the end of 2019. Campu was at 12% by September after various promotional campaigns to SMEs and individual business owners, ahead of many of the country’s top banks.

Campu has gone from a one-branch bank in 1992 to 31 branches covering every province and large city. With a $1 billion-plus loan book based on its core SME and retail lending business, the bank reported a $68.6 million pre-tax profit in the last year, its highest ever, which it says is driven by loans growth, low-cost deposits and prudent cost management.