Cambodia's best international bank 2021: Maybank
Maybank’s journey from a single branch in Phnom Penh in 1993 to a dominant international institution in Cambodia has been action-packed, making it a natural choice for the best international bank award.
In nearly three decades, the Malaysian bank has expanded its offerings to the full spectrum of financial services in Cambodia, ranging from corporate and commercial banking to consumer banking, using some of the best online and mobile services in the region. But perhaps more importantly, Maybank has brought international expertise to the local market.
Led by its CEO Mohd Hanif Suadi, Maybank is the go-to name for international companies and investors looking to harness Cambodia’s economic development. Its Malaysian parent, after all, is one of the largest financial services groups in southeast Asia.
In August 2021, Maybank joined forces with the Cambodian central bank to roll out a real-time funds transfer service between Malaysia and Cambodia. The so-called Maybank-Bakong Cross Border Funds Transfer allows customers to move funds first from Malaysia to Cambodia and, before long, the other way around.
Though Maybank’s digital transformation is accelerating, it is also meeting Cambodia’s unbanked masses where they live. The bank plans to add to its 21 branches nationwide and increase the number of cash dispensers and self-service machines. It sees such bricks-and-mortar outreach as the next way to pull in more customers and increase loans.
Maybank’s strategic focus has increasingly shifted toward retail SME, a segment generating double-digit growth (with an average of 16%), since 2018. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Maybank maintained its position among the top-10 foreign banks in Cambodia for both its deposits and loan balances.
The bank is also working with the Credit Guarantee Corporation of Cambodia and the government’s SME bank and co-financing loan-guarantee schemes. These collaborations are helping to address the key challenges SMEs face in accessing finance – while supporting those companies forming the backbone of the economy.
Maybank’s Cambodia business reported pre-tax profits of about $24.1 million in 2020, while the non-performing loan ratio fell to 2.37% from 2.63% in 2019.
Particularly noteworthy is how Maybank is leading by example with its environmental, social and governance initiatives. It’s one of the key pillars of Maybank’s five-year strategic plan, called M25, to be the regional ESG pioneer. That means working to humanise financial services in the communities where it operates and collaborating with stakeholders to achieve sustainable growth.
A key determinant will be Maybank’s success in financing Cambodia’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Priorities include developing sustainability-focused products and services, offering systemic risk management tools, integrating ESG into all financial analysis, instilling an ESG culture, linking ESG pursuits to financial inclusion, and helping achieve climate resilience in countries where Maybank operates. Expect more in 2022.