The financial health of any economy can be gauged by the way it manages its credit risks and how it assesses corporate, government and individual ability to meet principal and interest payments on their debts.
Hence, the importance and the role of a credit rating agency such as Credit Bureau Cambodia (CBC) in an economy can never be overemphasized when assessing risks to capital investments.
The CBC performs this all-important task of making sure that both investors and consumers in the domestic economy are provided with vital information before money is lent, borrowed or invested.
The Post spoke to Oeur Sothearoath, CEO of CBC about the bureau’s activities, plans and its expanding role in Cambodia’s growing economy.
“CBC, in 2019, will continue its policies of ensuring data security and superior customer service to meet our members’ satisfaction and remains the strategic focus driver of our business. We will continue to build on our strengths, to develop new platforms that facilitate our members in meeting their ambitions and to contribute the stability of industry growth.”
Sothearoath also spoke about the key items that the CBC has successfully implemented which are essential in ensuring a smooth flow of transactions in today’s fast pace business environment.
“Institutions are under the pressure of market competition as they move forward and digital is the ideal way to gain efficiency. Innovations and enhanced solutions are something we thrive to engage with the market,” he said.
Towards this end, the CBC is looking forward to officially launching the Commercial Credit Reporting, expanding the financial health check service countrywide, and introducing employment checks to its members.
“CBC will start to look for possibilities in diversifying our data sources. This includes public sector data and data in other related sectors. In addition to being more secure, we will look into expanding our digital channels, including mobile apps and online forums, and will add new functions and self-service options to further enhance these digital tools.”
He said that in the first half of 2019, the CBC’s achievements include financial health check services that were successfully deployed to all the cities of the 25 provincial branches of its authorised agents, AMK Micro Finance and Acleda Bank.
“Commercial Credit Reporting is our key focus that has been working on with our member more than a year. All system development has been completed and test satisfactory. With the approval from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the system will operational on July 1, 2019,” he added.
Sothearoath mentioned that benefits of credit reporting system not only good to the financial sector, but also for decision-makers in areas unrelated to consumer credit, including individual person, employers, insurance companies, telecommunications, and debt companies, landlords, and collectors.
“Towards the end [of] 2019, one of our priorities is to reach out to the general public who can get easier and faster access to their personal credit reports. CBC will enrich digital channels to that end including usage of our mobile app. We will pursue engagement with relevant partners and entities to look for data diversification that can combine with bureau data and adding value to people who can have access to finance even they never applied for a loan before,” he said.
On educating the public about the importance of a credit report, Sothearoath said the CBC is giving priority to making consumers aware of their rights and responsibilities with respect to credit reporting through financial literacy programme on credit reporting in the form of university conferences, booth activations in major events, and its digital channels.
“It is important for consumers to communicate with key constituencies about the importance of credit reporting and other aspects of financial information infrastructure in a modern financial system."
“This agenda is very crucial to help them get faster access to finance. They will gain from this as the knowledge will help lenders to make their credit decisions easier.