Mr Phan Ying Tong, Regional Head of Indo-China Operations in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of Cambodian Public Bank Plc (Campu Bank)’s operations in Cambodia says the bank’s customers comes first, before anything else.
Malaysian-owned Cambodian Public Bank Plc (Campu Bank) commenced its business in Cambodia on May 25, 1992. It presently has 30 branches: 15 in Phnom Penh, one each in Battambang, Bavet, Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Kampot, Koh Kong, Poi Pet, Preah Sihanouk, Siem Reap, Suong, Takhmao and a service branch each in Monivong, Olympic Market and Phsar Doeumkor, Phnom Penh and Phsar Leu, Siem Reap.
On entry, where others feared the political and security climate in Cambodia in 1992 was still unstable, Campu Bank showed courage, steel and had faith that the country was destined to see growth and prosperity – like a phoenix rising up from the ashes.
“We came in to Cambodia during the time when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed was prime minister of Malaysia,” said Mr Phan Ying Tong, Regional Head of Indo-China Operations at Campu Bank.
“Dr Mahathir has a vision called ‘Prosper Thy Neighbour’ and that meant that if your neighbor was prosperous, neighboring countries would also prosper and will not have problem with each other,” said Mr Phan.
“So with that in mind, we came to Cambodia, got our banking license and started our business.”
Mr Phan said both Cambodia and Malaysia treated each other as real, good friends.
“We were there for Cambodia to invest in a strong way in a crucial sector, when not so many investors at that time were interested in the country.
“So that’s how the strong friendship began, and it has remained strong till today,” added Mr Phan.
“Campu Bank considers itself as a testimony to the belief and faith foreign investors should have in Cambodia.”
Now, 25 years later Mr Phan looks back at Campu Bank’s success in Cambodia, attributing it to a very strong culture to serve the public that has been inherited from its Malaysian parent company, Public Bank Malaysia – the largest Malaysian banking group.
“The culture we inherited stresses on unity, rewarding staff based on their performance and most of all valuing our human resource,” said Mr Phan.
“Staff training to keep up with changing technology and customer demand in the financial sector is always a priority and for that reason you can see that a number of our pioneer staff are still with us today,” he added.
“They have been rewarded well with good remuneration and high managerial positions and many of them are in fact holding key management positions in Campu Bank now.
“Investing in human resources always pays off in the long run.”
In recognition of its banking and management excellence, Campu Bank has been accorded with a number of prestigious international awards.
• “The Bank of the Year in Cambodia” for five
consecutive years from 2001
to 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012 and again in 2015 for the ninth time by the Banker, London.
• “Domestic Retail Bank of the Year – Cambodia” for five consecutive years
from 2012 to 2017 by Asian Banking & Finance magazine.
• “USD Straight-Through-Processing Excellence Award” for five consecutive years from 2011 to 2015 by Deutsche Bank, New York.
Mr Phan said a crucial factor for the success of Campu Bank in Cambodia was its good working relationship with the Cambodian government, especially the National Bank of Cambodia – the kingdom’s central bank.
“Campu Bank works very closely with the NBC and they are very supportive. They carry out consultative meetings with the Association of Banks in Cambodia and relevant ministries before issuing any new Prakas and together we participate in building the stability of Cambodia’s financial sector,” he added.
Mr Phan said of utmost importance is gaining the confidence of bank’s customers.
“When they are confident with us, their deposits keep growing and they will use the bank’s products and services without thinking about moving to other banks. This is the mantra of our parent in Malaysia – Public Bank – you build trust and your customers grow with you.
“Of course, competition will come, new banks will come and even existing banks will be aggressive. But when you gain the trust and confidence of your partners, they will not simply change banks.
“Our strategy is to know our customers well and pro-actively identify their needs of before they come and ask you.
“So, this kind of partnership with our customers that helps put us at a more advantageous position compared to our peers.”
As part of its corporate social responsibility, Campu Bank also believes in giving back to the country to help Cambodians and recently launched a campaign called “My Neighbour, My Customer”.
“We are not just a commercial bank and we want to place ourselves as a community bank, too,” said Mr Phan.
“In the ‘My Neighbour, My Customer’ campaign we will be working directly with the community and we will do our part to make their lives better,” added Mr Phan.
“Of course we can’t fix things ourselves and we will be working with selected organisations that already do good community work.”
Mr Phan said Campu Bank is helping fund schools in carrying out repairs to their buildings and recently sponsored the construction of a laterite road in the Kandal Province. The bank is also sponsoring the building of hospitals.
Campu Bank also nurtures children to encourage them to save for their future in its Brightstar Children Savings Account.
“We actually create competiveness and competition among the children who maintain accounts with us,” said Mr Phan.
“We create activities for them to get exposed to some competition so that they are well prepared to face real competition in school or internationally – for instance in some kind of educational competition,” added Mr Phan.
“We do it in a small way when the children are still young. Hopefully that will give them the exposure they need to tackle bigger problems when they grow up.”
Campu Bank has been in Cambodia for quarter of a century guided by its corporate mission to be “the Most Efficient, Profitable and Respected Financial Institution in Cambodia”.
It is committed to be the premier bank in providing the most courteous and efficient service in every aspect of its business, and by being innovative in providing financial solutions to its customers, and the development of new banking products and services.
“We will not stop here because we believe Cambodia is the fastest growing economy in this region and we believe it will grow further. We are here to stay. And we have shown our commitment,” said Mr Phan.