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Managing a commercial banking institution is challenging. However, introducing an annual report which shows as much progress as this report does is one of the better moments. 2018 was a formidable challenging year for our bank. It was the year to execute our on-going upgraded plan from a specialized bank to a commercial bank, and was also a year in which we demonstrated our resilience and changed much for the better, despite a tougher competition environment in Cambodia’s banking industry.
Our actively strategic implementations—our utmost priorities on customer satisfaction first, simplicity, efficiency, and talented staff—have ensured that the Chief bank continued to make the remarkable milestones. Our 2018 performance confirms that this has occurred. First, our customers are more satisfied and choose us more frequently to help them achieve their financial ambitions. Second, our continued progress on prioritized digital enablement has recently made the bank simpler and easier to operate for customers and colleagues. Third, our positive profitability, no impaired loans and full settlement of the main related party loans have strengthened our capital base and improved our bank risk profile. Finally, our employees are more engaged and positive about the bank they work for, and it is clearly demonstrated by the continuing improvements in our employee performance appraisal scores.
Our achievements during the year are made possible through the concerted efforts of staff and management who have demonstrated the strong dedication and commitment, through guidance by the Bank's clearly-defined vision and mission, and by the effective strategic leadership and oversight of the Bank’s Chairman of Board of Directors, Members of Board of Directors and Independent Directors.
Thanks to the continued success of Chief Bank’s operations over the past years, Chief (Cambodia) Specialized Bank Plc has recently been successfully upgraded to Chief (Cambodia) Commercial Bank Plc, which is the first commercial bank in Cambodia, owned by the Hong Kong-based Chief Financial Group (Cambodia) Limited. Chief Group, established in 1979, has dynamically evolved into a comprehensive financial institution with diversified products and services, making it one of the leaders in the sector in Hong Kong, proudly holding the biggest branch service networks.
Chief (Cambodia) Commercial Bank Plc has been well managed to meet all of the requirements from the National Bank of Cambodia, and has started to offer comprehensive commercial banking products, including various deposit accounts, individual loans, commercial loans, ATMs and trade finances, with attractive and innovative features. In addition, we are going to launch remittances, mobile banking, internet banking, and our own credit and debit card products and so on, in the very near future.
Chief (Cambodia) Commercial Bank Plc has been committed to fulfilling customers’ needs and helping them succeed. The bank has also been committed to being the most innovative and efficient foreign bank that lends full support to Cambodia’s four pillars of economic growth drivers: exports, tourism, agriculture and real estates. It provides world-rated services to its clients in Cambodia—a small Southeast Asian country that has enjoyed high economic growth rate of more than 7 percent per annum without overheating, thanks largely to both political and macroeconomic stability which is an indispensable foundation for development. According to recent forecast by the IMF, the country’s economy will grow 7.25% in 2018, with low inflation. It is expected that Cambodia’s financial or economic outlook for 2019 will remain strong and robust.
The Kingdom’s banking sector has also expanded rapidly, as reflected in the substantial increase in assets, credits, deposits, demands for other bank services. The country’s banking system has continued to develop and improve steadily since the early stage of its wider liberalization after the 1993 first-ever general elections under the auspices of the United Nations. This helps build stronger public confidence in the banking and related sectors, leading to the higher demands for financial and other banking services.
Chief Bank has been utilizing a business model which is localized, customized and best suited to the real needs of clients in Cambodia and the region who seek investment opportunities in the Kingdom. We have actively been working on the further refinements of our existing products and new products or services to meet our clients’ highly growing needs.
The rapid economic expansion and improved business environment offer more opportunities for robust growth in the banking industry although competition is undoubtedly intensified. Yet, Chief Bank is really confident of having a solid ground and the right formula of working with clients for mutual benefits. By looking ahead to 2019 with much optimism and with our superior organizational realignment, we strongly believe that our sharpened strategy coupled with our client centric approach to business success will drive the bank's sustainable growth and competitive advantages.
On behalf of the top management of Chief (Cambodia) Commercial Bank Plc, I would like to sincerely express my thanks to all of our clients for selecting Chief (Cambodia) Commercial Bank Plc to be their long-term business partners. With this, I would also like to thank my dedicated colleagues, our Chairman, Board members, INED, the leadership teams and all officials of National Bank of Cambodia, for the on-going unwavering support given to me in fulfilling my position as CEO. I am really proud of the significant progress we have made. Together, we are confident that we are delivering a better, innovative bank, a bank of first choice, a bank that our employees, customers and stakeholders can genuinely trust.
Dr. Morarith SOEUNG
Chief Executive Officer
Chief (Cambodia) Commercial Bank Plc.