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Obtaining a Banking License in Cambodia

The banking system in Cambodia is still under development. However, foreign investment in Cambodia's banking sector is continuing to grow exponentially. Given the country's rapidly developing economy & attractive geographic location, it’s hardly a surprise that opening foreign banking institutions’ branches in Cambodia is proceeding at a rapid pace. 

Cambodian laws also provide potential investors with notable incentives, such as:

  • no limitations for foreign owners;
  • no limitations on domestic JVs;
  • liberal interest rates;
  • no charges on benefits’ repatriation;
  • no currency controls;
  • minimal currency-related risks.

All the above makes obtaining a payment service provider license in Cambodia a highly attractive prospect.

Cambodia’s banking system promotes registration of Cambodian e-payment organizations in every possible way. Though establishing BFIs in the Kingdom of Cambodia is frequently restricted to loans & deposits, recent years have seen emergence of new banking products, e.g. e-payment systems, online currency exchanges & financial leasing in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Regulation of Banks in the Kingdom of Cambodia

The regulatory framework governing Cambodia’s banking industry is the most complete & refined of all sectors. In an attempt to facilitate its further growth, the country’s national bank regularly amends current laws & introduces new ones. That said, there’s still no particular rules regulating cross-border credits extended by foreign financial organizations to Cambodian financial institutions & non-banking establishments. However, Cambodia’s national bank closely monitors all cross-border credits in Cambodia, especially subordinated ones, in order to make the net worth of BFIs higher.

Being a national bank, the NBC is primarily responsible for:

  • implementing fiscal policy;
  • issuing BFI licenses; 
  • controlling the system of payments.

Cambodia's National Bank has recently upgraded its oversight mechanisms, making them more compliant with international banking standards.

Banking System in the Kingdom of Cambodia

The banking system of Cambodia comprises specialized & commercial banks, microfinance organizations, rural lending organizations, finance leasing companies & 3rd parties.

The Kingdom of Cambodia: Registration of Specialized Banking Institutions

Specialized banks operate in the same way as financial companies (i.e. they are permitted to extend loans but aren’t allowed to accept deposits).

Cambodia: Registration of Microfinance Organizations 

These organizations aren’t allowed to accept deposits unless they get a license from the NBC & meet specific criteria (e.g. conducting business for no less than 3 years).

Cambodia: Registration of Leasing Companies 

These entities can lease all immovable & movable property except for land & buildings.

The Kingdom of Cambodia: Registration of Banking Institutions

Cambodia-incorporated banks must be either domestic legal personalities or foreign banks’ subsidiaries. Non-domestic banking institutions can establish representative offices of foreign banks in the Kingdom of Cambodia; however, their activities are strictly limited to conducting marketing research & collecting information. Representative offices can operate for two years following which their license will have to be renewed (but only once).

Capital Requirements

Opening a banking institution in Cambodia requires being registered & meeting minimum capital requirements. The minimum capital requirement for commercial banks has recently been increased from thirty seven million dollars to seventy five million dollars. There’s also a requirement for all newly created & existing microfinance institutions to have a minimum capital of one million five hundred thousand dollars.


Interested in obtaining a permit to conduct banking activities in Cambodia? Need to know more about banking regulation in Cambodia? IQ Decision UK is always at your service. Our legal advisors will be delighted to lend you a helping hand with any legal issue you’re facing in this regard.