Legal and Tax Updates


Issue: No. 012P/23 – 6 June 2023

Banking and Financial Institutions are some of the most important stakeholders in providing finances for businesses in Cambodia. Based on the current legislations, the structure of banking system in Cambodia include commercial bank, specialized bank, deposit taking and non-deposit taking microfinance institution, rural credit institution, financial leasing company, credit bureau Cambodia, payment service provider, third party process, money changers, audit firms, and foreign bank representative office.

Under the Law on Banking and Financial Institutions which was promulgated by the Royal Kram No. NS/RKM/1199/13 dated November 18, 1999, only licensed Bank and Financial Institution may operate its banking operations in Cambodia. The law defines the banking operation as (1) the provision of all types of credit to the public with a fee; (2) receiving of non-earmarked deposit from the public; and (3) processing and provision of payment methods in national or foreign currency.

Under the Law on Organization and Functioning of the National Bank of Cambodia which was promulgated by Royal Kram No. NS/RKM/0196/27 dated February 01, 1996, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is the central bank who has the authority, among other things, to issue license for and to supervise the Banking and Financial Institution who wishes to operate in Cambodia, and to issue prakas, circular, instruction, and other regulations to regulate the Banking and Financial Institution and the banking operations in Cambodia.


According to the NBC, Banking and Financial Institutions are namely, commercial bank, specialized bank, microfinance institution (deposit-taking and non-deposit taking), rural credit institution, and others. Each of these banking and financial institutions is subject to specific licensing, prudential, accounting and reporting regulations, and other regulations as issued from time to time by NBC.

Commercial Banks may operate all types of banking operations such as (1) the provision of all types of credit to the public with a fee; (2) receipt of non-earmarked deposit from the public; and (3) processing and provision of payment methods in national or foreign currency.

Specialized Banks may operate only one out of the 3 main banking operations or any one component of each of such banking operations permitted for the Commercial Bank.

Microfinance Institution may provide credit services to the public. In order a Microfinance can receive deposit from the public, it shall obtain a license of Deposit-Taking from the NBC. As provided by law, a Microfinance is restricted from providing financial leasing, dealing in derivatives, money changing, and gold, precious metals, raw materials and commodities, whether spot or forward, and from providing payment services through checking accounts or swap or forward dealings in foreign currencies.

Please also note that other than the above banking operations, authorized banks and financial institutions may operate other services such as financial leasing and foreign exchange as provided under the Law on Financial Leasing and the Law on Foreign Exchange, respectively, by complying with the requirements and reporting obligations as provided under each respective law including the Law on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism.


Before issuing a license for the banking and financial institution to enable them to operate the banking operation in Cambodia, NBC will among other things consider on (1) quality and financial standing of the shareholders, (2) ability of influential shareholders in jointly complying with the obligations as required by the law, and (3) adequacy of their human, technical, and financial resources including the action plans of the banking and financial institution. In addition to these main requirements, all banking and financial institutions shall also comply with prudential regulations which include, but not limited to, the management of banking and financial institution, the maintaining of minimum paid-up registered capital, solvency ratio, capital guarantee deposit, reserve, liquidity coverage ratio and other requirement, etc.

Each banking and financial institution are subject to different legal requirements, the detail of which will be detailed in our future publications.

We hope that the above legal brief is helpful for your investment and help you to invest more confidently.



The article is merely for general information purposes. It does not constitute a legal advice on the subject matter. If you have any question or need any assistance, please feel free to contact us:

SON Sokeng,


Managing Director

+855 12 885 870


He has more than 10 years of professional experiences in corporate, commercial, investment and capital market sector in Cambodia. He has leaded a legal counsel team to advise and assist Royal Railway Plc., Golden Tree Plc., one of the biggest commercial bank in Cambodia and one of the biggest telecommunication service provider in Cambodia in conducting legal due diligence and restructuring for their proposed bond issuance: plain, guaranteed and green bond issuance and listing;

He also advised and assisted Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, Acleda Bank Plc., DBD Engineering Plc, one holding company in real estate sector and two other companies in their proposed listing at Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) through IPO.

NOEUM Sokvichhai,


Head of Corporate, Commercial and Investment Practice Group

+855 12 826 785


Sokvichhai has more than 6 years of experiences in labour, corporate, commercial and investment advisory in Cambodia. He actively advices and assists various businesses in commercial, tax, and labour registration, business licensing, products registration & distribution, business recapitalization & restructuring, and mergers & acquisitions transaction. He also has particular experiences in advising collective investment fund and trust business, investment incentives & qualified investment project, and labour & employment related issues.

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