Hanoi (VNA) – Cambodia's banking industry enjoyed strong growth in both loans and deposits in the first half of 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the country's central bank.

In a report released on July 23, the bank said that outstanding loans rose by 19 percent year-on-year to 33.9 billion USD as of June this year, while customers' deposits increased by 20.8 percent to 32.7 billion USD.

The loans have been provided to key sectors such as trade, housing, construction, and manufacturing, among others, it said, adding that Non-Performing Loan (NPL) is at a controllable rate of 2.4 percent.

In Channy, chairman of the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC), said despite the impact of COVID-19, Cambodia's banking sector remains healthy and resilient.

Loan growth is not as strong as it used to be in the previous year due to the spread of the pandemic; however, deposit growth is still robust because customers, who have not found any new business opportunities during the pandemic, have placed their deposits with the banks, he was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.

According to Channy, Cambodia has 56 commercial banks, 11 specialized banks, and six representative offices of foreign banks.

He said that more than 5 million Cambodians have formal bank accounts as of early 2021, up from about 4 million in 2019./.