Applications for consumer credit in the country dropped by 15 percent in the second quarter of the year compared to a big jump of 29 percent in the first quarter, according to latest data from the Credit Bureau of Cambodia (CBC).
Consumer credit application represents an intention of consumers to acquire credit in the form of personal finance, credit card or mortgage. In the second quarter across the country, according to the CBC, personal finance applications dropped by 15 percent, credit card applications were down by 18 percent and mortgage applications fell by 8 percent.
However, according to the CBC, the coastal provinces seem to be bucking the downward trend with credit card applications increasing by 100 percent and mortgage applications up by 3 percent.
The CBC is the leading provider of information, analytical tools and credit reporting services to organisations and consumers in the country. It commenced operations in 2012 and aims to centralise lending data from the Kingdom’s banks, MFIs and credit unions.
The CBC report also stated that non-performing loans (NPLs), for which debtors have not been able to meet scheduled payments for more than 30 days, increased from 1.62 percent in the first quarter to 1.7 percent in the second quarter.
Sothearoath Oeur, CEO at CBC, said that despite the loan application slowdown and slight rise in the NPL rate, the country’s finance sector was still able to maintain stable growth. “Although this trend is seasonal, in the second quarter there was a 4.19 percent increase in the opening of new bank accounts,” he said.
Oeur noted that although non-performing loans of more than 30 days had increased, the rate was still low and manageable. “It can be taken as a warning sign for all players to be cautious on the ‘quality’ of loans given out,” he said.
According to the National Bank of Cambodia, in the first half of this year, the kingdom has 39 commercial banks, 15 specialised banks, seven microfinance deposit institutions, 66 microfinances, 267 rural credit operators, 12 leasing companies, and six foreign bank representative offices.