Malaysian-owned Cambodian Public Bank Plc (Campu Bank) is a bastion of strength and stands tall as the building that houses the bank’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, the Kingdom’s capital city.
The bank is a “familiar face” in Cambodia’s financial landscape, taking pride as “a top-tier bank, well-reputed for its prudent management, superior customer service, uncompromising service delivery standards, strong corporate governance and corporate culture.”
Campu Bank is principally engaged in all aspects of banking business and provision of related financial services. It has been growing in strength year after year, expanding to 31 branches in every major city and province in Cambodia as at 30 June 2018.
“We were one of the first foreign banks to set foot in Cambodia in 1992 when the political and security climate was still stabilising,” says the Regional Head of Indo-China Operations at Campu Bank, Datuk Phan Ying Tong.
Now, 26 years on, Datuk 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 Berhad – one of the largest Malaysian banking groups and largest non-governmental linked corporation with market capitalization of USD19,906 million as at 31 December 2017.
“Campu Bank showed courage, and had confidence that Cambodia is destined to see growth and prosperity, and today we are proud to have helped position Cambodia as a rapidly growing economic powerhouse in the region beyond Asean.”
Campu Bank has done exceptionally well in terms of its strong commitment to excellence in all aspects of its business and operations in Cambodia, reflected by three outstanding awards it received in 2017, namely:
• “Domestic Retail Bank of the Year in Cambodia in 2017” by Asian Banking & Finance for the seventh consecutive year.
• “Bank of the Year, Cambodia” for five consecutive years from 2001 to 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015 and again in 2017 by The Banker, London.
• “2017 USD Straight-Through-Processing Excellence Award” for its exceptional quality in its processing of payment messages by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, New York.
Campu Bank’s success is attributed to the impeccable vision and sterling leadership of Public Bank’s Founder and Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Teh Hong Piow who never fails to inspire the staff with his core values – values of commitment, discipline and professionalism. These values have been so well ingrained and coded in the bank that they have evolved to become its strong corporate culture and biggest competitive edge. One critical element of the bank’s success today is also attributed to the close working relationship with its regulator, the National Bank of Cambodia. His Excellency Chea Chanto, Senior Minister and Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia and the staff of NBC have not only implemented sound and effective Prakas from time to time but also provided ongoing invaluable guidance and advice to the bank from time to time.
Datuk Phan, however, says that past success is not a reliable indicator of a successful future; hence, Campu Bank is not resting on its laurels, rather it is striving even harder to forge a sustainable future especially at a time when the banking industry in Cambodia is getting very competitive with more players entering the banking sector, given the government’s continuation of monetary and fiscal policy prudence to sustain macroeconomic stability, ample development potentials leveraged by supportive government policies, promotion of domestic investments and implementation of the revised Financial Sector Development Strategy 2016-2025.
He is quick to point out that Campu Bank is in an industry where trust is of paramount importance given that a financial institution is a custodian of public funds.
“The trust and confidence that customers and the public have in the Bank are vital to the continued growth and success of the Bank,” he says, reiterating that the Bank has always actively sought to conduct itself with integrity and trustworthiness to engender such trust and confidence in the Bank.
To ensure that the Bank is able to sustain its high performance, Datuk Phan says the staff are given continuous and extensive training upon recruitment to enhance its service delivery and Public Bank’s core values and culture.
As part of the Bank’s long-term plan to increase fee-based income, Campu Bank, has signed an exclusive Distribution Partnership Agreement as a Referral Agent with AIA (Cambodia) Life Insurance Plc., to offer its customers with access to high quality and yet affordable life and health insurance products and services that are tailored to the Cambodian market.
He points out that in conjunction with the 25th-anniversary celebration last year, Campu Bank launched, “My Neighbor My Customer” campaign to further promote financial inclusion and bring banking closer to the neighbourhood. “This is a long-term commitment and community project initiated by the Bank as part of its effort to educate the public, especially our neighbours on the importance of using the banking system to facilitate and expand their business, and also inculcate savings habit among the young especially school children and adolescents.”
“In addition, in line with the National Bank of Cambodia’s directive and aspiration to promote the use of the local currency Khmer Riel loans, the Bank has launched a new product i.e. loans in Khmer Riel with attractive loan packages, especially targeting small to medium size enterprises with option of either soft or hard titles as collateral to bring financing closer to the discerning business owners”.
“Going forward, Campu Bank is optimistic of working closely with the local community to contribute towards nation building and progress of the country,” he explains.
Early this year, the Bank launched Customer Care Campaign Phase 3 with the main theme “Doing It Right For You” and sub-tagline “Our Service Commitment Continues” at all Campu Bank branches.
“This is to reinforce our commitment in maintaining a high standard of customer service by soliciting feedback from our customers as to how to further improve our service delivery in the all aspects of our business,” he elaborates.
In keeping up with digital banking, Datuk Phan says Campu Bank has been making continuous investments in information technology to upgrade the Bank’s computer system with emphasis on delivering efficient customer service and new service delivery channels to cater to the banking needs of the Bank’s fast-growing customer base. Under the exceptional passion, untiring drive and exemplary leadership of Her Excellency Chea Serey, Assistant Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, the central bank has been aggressively pursuing fintech technology and spearheading a number of key projects. One of them is the national switch system to nationalize not only the various services such as cheque clearing, ATMs and card payments, but to promote greater public acceptance and cost efficiency, and ultimately, lower cost of doing business in Cambodia.
The Bank is also placing emphasis in strengthening its risk management, infrastructure and capabilities within its integrated enterprise-wide risk management framework, not only for regulatory compliance but with a view to improving operational and financial performance and optimizing capital efficiency.
In February 2018, Campu Bank implemented 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) for SWIFT PCs to enhance the Bank’s security control over SWIFT authentication.
“Bearing in mind that most of our customers are the growing number of middle income, tech-savvy younger Cambodians, we have also launched our official WeChat Account to enhance the Bank’s branding as well as to broadcast its new and existing products and services, advertise its ongoing campaigns and promotional events and to introduce our products and services to potential customers,” Datuk Phan points out.
To support the Bank’s business strategies effectively and maintain the desirable asset quality and operational efficiency, Campu Bank has deployed an in-house developed data warehouse equipped with various data mining and analytical tools.
“We have also launched Mobile Banking Application (CPB engage) which is an alternative to internet banking service to allow individual and corporate customers to perform account enquiry and financial transactions within Campu Bank.”
Datuk Phan also takes pride that Campu Bank is the first foreign bank to be appointed as a Tax Collection Agent by the General Department of Taxation on June 13, 2016.
“This shows the faith and trust the Government has on Campu Bank,” he says, adding the Bank successfully launched the Tax Collection Service for all kinds of property taxes, vehicle tax and business tax by end of 2017 in addition to launching collection service for Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) water bills. Taking full advantage of the growth in e-banking, he explains that Campu Bank’s Internet Banking has been further enhanced to allow customers to perform fund transfer to other local banks via the remittance system of the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and also to accommodate Mobile Top-up service for CellCard subscribers.
“We have also launched “Mobile Banking App” to enable customers to perform financial transactions via CPB engage from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 midnight daily including rest days and public holidays which is the same as Internet Banking operating hours,” he says, adding more features have been added to the application to assist customers to transfer funds, make outward remittance to overseas, make payment, account inquiry, pre-paid top up, cheque management, placement of fixed deposits, bank’s information, bank’s locator and calculation of loans.
In April this year, the Bank launched the linking of Campu Bank Visa Lifestyle Debit Card and Visa Debit OneCard to the Khmer Riel savings account or current account to allow Campu Bank Visa Lifestyle Debit and Visa Debit OneCard cardholders to perform balance enquiry or cash withdrawals from their Khmer Riel savings account or current account at Campu Automated Teller Machines/Cash Recycling Machines or at other participating banks’ ATMs under the Easy Cash Shared ATM Network.
In line with the Bank’s strategy to aggressively increase the housing loans and customer base, the Bank had on 14 June 2018, launched “Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME) Plan for Housing Loans” promotion to enlarge the Bank’s market share in the housing loan segment as well as to accelerate the Bank’s overall loans growth.
The promotion will take effect until 31 December 2018 and all application forms received during this campaign period will be eligible for the special offer.
To Campu Bank, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are equally important. Its CSR initiatives are centred on the enhancement of the marketplace, promotion of the workplace, customer care, education and community support to achieve multiple objectives of the betterment of the community, social development and human capital development. Its CSR initiatives extend to donations to the Cambodian Red Cross, the Nokor Tep Foundation, Kantha Bopha Foundation and the Nodojiman Linguistic Program.