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PPCBank Highlights Customer Commitment During the Covid-19 Crisis

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, PPCBank is committed to supporting financially-hit customers while continuing to provide a growing range of world-class financial services across Cambodia.

After a record-breaking 2019 that saw the bank’s major shareholder, JB Financial Group, record $290 million net profit – a 41.6 percent increase from 2018 – PPCBank is in a strong position to provide dedicated support to customers and continue with its expansion plans throughout 2020.

As the pandemic wreaks havoc on the global economy, Cambodia is being hit hard. The tourism sector has ground to a standstill, the textile industry is suffering and other services have drastically slowed. 

This has led to an overall sense of uncertainty, sparking a dash of panic cash withdrawals from banks and financial institutes. However, PPCBank is working hard to reassure customers of its commitment to Cambodia.

It has put in place strong contingency plans, as well as rolled out a series of loan schemes and payment breaks to support financially-hit clients. Amidst the pandemic outbreak, PPCBank successfully completed the first phase of its contingency plan, issuing a KHR 40 billion bond on April 21. Within six months, the second phase will raise a further KHR 40 billion. 

PPCBank’s President, Chang Moo Shin, said: “We have been watching the growing trends of financial stress of business in various sectors and also individuals. Even if no signs of Bank Runs or NPL ratio spike were observed, we keep monitoring changes on a daily basis and initiated the first phase of our contingency plan. Securing the source of liquidity should be the top priority for banks in this situation.”

In addition to the ease of the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC) reserve requirement, PPCBank opened Credit Line from shareholder JB Bank in Korea and quickly closed the corporate bond issue deal. 

Chang Moo Shin said: “Added liquidity from those various sources is to be used to comply with public initiatives on financial aid programs, such as NBC loan restructuring guidelines and SME Bank’s joint lending scheme.”

Last week, NBC ordered the board of each bank to approve the new loan structuring policy. PPCBank complied with the request and has designed a package that includes three loan programs: loan restructuring, SME joint lending and SME Soben Loan, which the bank launched with IFC last year. 

Chang Moo Shin added: “Depending on the various financial difficulties the corporate is facing, we will offer a mixed package of payment holidays, maturity extension, easing or removing of security, and additional loans. Offering and accepting optimal packages is crucial for the sustainability of both creditors and debtors. 

“Excessive ease on loan repayment at current situation can often come around as a big burden later on. Currently we are focusing on the Priority Sectors NBC designated, but the more sectors and sizes of the business will be included in our target for restructuring.”

PPCBank has also teamed up with BanhJi, a leading financial platform provider in Cambodia, to develop a corporate credit evaluation and scoring model. BanhJi’s financial reporting and credit evaluation tools will be used for these financing packages to speed up the process of loan and restructuring applications.

Further assisting customers through periods of self-isolation and quarantine, PPCBank recently released the latest version of its mobile app, 2.0. This features a range of options enabling customers to bank from the safety of their homes. Mobile bankers can now open and close accounts, apply for loan against deposits, and pre-book branch visits to avoid long waiting times.

PPCBank has also pledged to continue expanding its network, opening two new branches by the middle of 2020. This is in addition to the three new branches opened in 2019. 

Despite the current challenging climate, PPCBank remains committed to Cambodia, thanks to growing demand from customers and a successful 2019. The organisation’s recently completed financial audit for 2019 shows net profit jumped 23 percent compared to the previous year, surpassing $16.8 million. Loan and deposits increased to $655 million and $711 million, up 21 percent and 13 percent respectively. Total assets also rose a healthy 20 percent to $942 million.

This comes off the back of a string of major milestones last year. In 2019, PPCBank launched Cambodia’s first tailor-made Core Banking system after two years of development. The innovative system allows stable and flexible bank operations, and the fast development, modification and implementation of banking products. 

PPCBank also launched an upgraded version of corporate internet banking through its smartBiz, version 1.5, digital tool that simplifies internet banking for corporate clients. Features include a multi-transfer function to process up to 1,000 salaries at once and bill collection solution, called Virtual Account. Virtual Account system manages payment collection and company cash flow.

With strong contingency plans and rescue packages in place, alongside a strong standing in Cambodia, PPCBank is on hand to reassure and help customers through these challenging times.