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History stretching back 123 years

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History stretching back 123 years

With WB Finance having received its commercial banking licence to become Woori Bank Cambodia, the Kingdom’s banking sector can rely on a financial institution with the strength of a lineage that can be traced back some 123 years.

Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Woori Bank – one of the four largest domestic banks in South Korea and a shareowner of WB Finance – was established in 1899 under the name the Daehan Cheon-il Bank.

With this year marking the 123rd anniversary of Woori Bank, the bank intends to grow for another century and beyond as a financial brand that will always be there for its customers.

Woori Bank has extensive international networks across the globe, providing a wide range of commercial, retail and investment banking services through its 747 domestic branches and 451 networks in 23 countries.

Woori Bank Cambodia’s history can be traced to the early 1990s when VisionFund Cambodia was founded as a small credit programme under World Vision International-Cambodia – primarily focusing on positively impacting children’s lives by helping their families grow businesses through micro-loans.

After several years of successful operations as a micro-enterprise development, the institution successfully registered with the Ministry of Commerce in 2003 before securing a licence from National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) to operate as microfinance institution (MFI) the following year.

The milestones continued as they received the approval from NBC to operate as a microfinance deposit-taking institution (MDI) in 2011.

After years of proper due diligence, Woori Bank laid down foundations in Cambodia by acquiring Malis Microfinance and transformed it to Woori Finance (Cambodia) Plc in 2014.

As part of Woori Bank’s ongoing expansion plans in the Kingdom, the banking giant acquired VisionFund (Cambodia) and transformed it into WB Finance Co Ltd.

The next logical step was to merge the two sister companies of WB Finance Co Ltd and Woori Finance into one institution under the name WB Finance Co Ltd – which was approved by NBC and the Ministry of Commerce in 2020.

With a successful merger, the institution expanded at an unprecedented rate, leading to Woori Bank’s decision to inject an additional $100 million into its Cambodian subsidiary in 2020 to support further growth and accelerate business expansion.

After years of operating as one of the top MDIs in Cambodia, it was clear that the path was pointing towards a conversion to commercial bank.

NBC and the Ministry of Commerce granted the commercial banking licence approval and effectively transformed WB Finance Microfinance Deposit-Taking Institution into Woori Bank Cambodia in December 2021.

As of December 2021, Woori Bank Cambodia has $914 million in loan portfolio, $215 million in deposits and total assets stood at $1.2 billion.

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