The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) yesterday called for citizens to exercise caution when dealing with online and mobile lending companies, as many of these lenders are not authorized by NBC.
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Kith Sovannarith, deputy director general of banking supervision at the NBC, said, “The loans are not legal, so if there is any problem, it will be difficult to intervene as those companies are not licensed and have no specific location.
“The companies do not have a consumer protection or protection principle for debtors, unlike the legitimate companies that have been approved by the Central Bank, so people should be careful about dealing with these companies,” he said.
NBC’s announcement comes after a recent surge in the number of companies operating in Cambodia claiming to provide “instant cash” to consumers.
The loan portfolio in the microfinance sector reached $4 billion in 2017, an increase of 25.5 percent year-on-year, according to NBC. Up to 1.7 million Cambodians took out loans with an MFI at some point in 2017.
The numbers for commercial banks are also impressive, with loans increasing by 16.8 percent to $16.2 billion last year.