Small businesses raising questions about the process of applying for a loan through the newly formed Credit Guarantee Corporation of Cambodia (CGCC)’s Business Recovery Guarantee Scheme

CGCC executive clarifies Business Recovery Guarantee Scheme process

Khmer Times: April 19, 2021

Small businesses raising questions about the process of applying for a loan through the newly formed Credit Guarantee Corporation of Cambodia (CGCC)’s Business Recovery Guarantee Scheme (BRGS), has prompted CGCC’s chief executive officer Mr Wong Keet Loong to provide an overview of how the scheme works.

He noted first that the BRGS scheme was launched late last month to help support SMEs which have difficulty taking out loans due to a lack of securable assets.

Under the BRGS scheme, the CGCC provides a guarantee of 70 to 80 percent of the value of the loan depending on the sector, assuring Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) they will be secured in lending to the SMEs. The guarantee acts as part of the collateral or security for the loan. The scheme, however, will not let SMEs off the hook if they find themselves in default.

Wong said: “The SMEs are ultimately responsible to repay the loans.  [The] CGCC guarantee will assist in enabling the SMEs to borrow from the PFIs.  As such, in the event that the SMEs are unable to repay the loan due to failure of business, the CGCC guarantee will be the last resort for PFI to claim for the losses.”

In the case of a default and the CGCC guarantee being paid out, the PFIs would continue to seek repayment from the SMEs with the CGCC being proportionally reimbursed from any recoveries made, Wong added.

The interest rates for the loans are determined by the PFIs.

Wong added that any business interested in the loan should have the capacity to repay it. It’s intended to help companies continue operating, as opposed to serving as an initial investment for a startup company.

Each PFI has to individually assess each loan applicant and ensure they are able to meet the institution’s requirements to borrow. While the BRGS scheme allows for loans to be extended to clients, it doesn’t guarantee approval for an applicant who otherwise would be denied.

Wong said the scheme helps businesses, the banks and the country.

“Our motive when we started this scheme was to create more loans so that businesses can use the money for direct reasons and grow their business. This indirectly helps the country to grow,” he said.

He added that the CGCC – the first of its kind in Cambodia — will be here for the long haul and similar institutions exist in other regional countries, including his home country of Malaysia.

In light of the recent lockdown  he said all businesses are encouraged to apply  once business operations resume as normal.

While the scheme has yet to take off due to the pandemic, the CGCC has received an application for a $1 million loan from a company in the industrial sector, the limit allowed in the programme.

It appears the first list of PFIs participating in the scheme have yet to start advertising the product on their websites. The current list includes: ACLEDA Bank, AMK MFI, APD Bank, Cambodia Post Bank, CANADIA Bank, Phillip Bank, and Prince Bank.

Mr. Huot Sokha, AMK’s chief business officer, said: “The BRGS is still in progress, therefore we cannot share its details yet. We have continuously supported businesses through many different activities as much as we can. In April last year we rolled out a co-financing loan campaign to support SMEs that was advertised throughout our branch networks and on social media as well. Taking part in such programmes is our commitment to support sustainable SMEs in Cambodia, especially during the pandemic, which is a very tough time for them.”