Chief Executives from Cambodia’s leading banks, specialized banks and microfinance institutions signed in to effect a voluntary ‘Code of Banking Practice’ at a signing ceremony on Monday, 16 February 2015 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Phnom Penh.
The signing took place in the presence of His Excellency Chea Chanto, the Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, which has supported the drafting of the Code, and Neak Oknha Pung Kheav Se, the Chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC), which oversaw the drafting of the Code.
The Code sets out the standards of good banking practice that customers can expect when dealing with these financial institutions.
The Code aims to promote good banking practices by setting standards for financial institutions to follow, by increasing transparency in banking, by fostering confidence in the banking system and by encouraging a corporate culture of fair dealing in the banking system.
By signing the Code in to effect, Cambodia’s financial institutions are bringing themselves in line with international standards in banking and finance where similar voluntary Codes commit banks around the globe to good banking practices and transparency.
More members of the ABC are expected to sign the Code in the coming months once they have briefed and trained their executives and staff on the contents of the Code.
“This document that was signed today is the culmination of two years of hard work by the members of the Association of Banks in Cambodia and the National Bank of Cambodia. We are extremely grateful to all those who gave so much time and expertise to this process” said Mr. Pung Kheav Se, Chairman of the ABC.
“The banking industry is flourishing in Cambodia which makes it even more important that we have a voluntary Code of Banking practice to ensure customers know that their financial institutions are committed to open and transparent banking practices,” added Mr. Pung Kheav Se.
The Code, which will be posted in bank branches, on bank and banking association websites, and will be available on request by electronic copy or by mail, covers all aspects of a bank’s relationships with its customers, from straightforward account operations to calculating interest rates on loans or credit cards.
There are also sections in the Code about clarity in marketing and advertising materials, customer’s data privacy and security around PINS, passwords and mobile banking.
It also covers dispute resolution by simplifying the lodging of a complaint by a customer against a financial institution in to two easy steps – with the Complaints Commission of the ABC offering support if the financial institution and the customer are unable to resolve their dispute between themselves.
“An effective banking system is a artnership between the financial institutions and their customers. Under the terms of the Code of Banking Practice we not only outline the banks commitments and responsibilities but we also make it clear that customers have responsibilities around the accuracy of their disclosures to the banks when securing a loan, for example,” said Mr Pung Kheav Se.
The Association of Banks in Cambodia says that the Code of Banking Practice will be updated on a periodic basis as the banking industry in Cambodia develops, to build a modern system that is robust, inclusive, customer-oriented and trust-based.