National Bank of Cambodia

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC; Khmer: ធនាគារជាតិនៃកម្ពុជា, romanizedThônéakéar Chéatĕ ney Kâmpŭchéa) is the central bank of Cambodia. The bank's duties include, inter alia, the management of monetary and exchange policies, the regulation of banks and financial institutions, and the control of the national currency, the riel.[2] The bank was established in 1954[3] after the Indochina Printing Institution closed[4] when Cambodia obtained its independence from France.[5]

National Bank of Cambodia
National bank of Cambodia logo.svg
HeadquartersDaun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Established23 December 1954; 68 years ago (1954-12-23)
Ownership100% state ownership[1]
GovernorChea Chanto
Key peopleSum Sannisith
Chea Serey
Central bank of Cambodia
CurrencyCambodian riel
KHR (ISO 4217)
Reserves6 760 million USD[1]

During Democratic Kampuchea from 1975 to 1979, the whole financial system ceased to exist, but the central bank was re-established in October 1979.[5] The National Bank of Cambodia was known as the "Red Bank" or "Banque Rouge",[6] and "People's National Bank of Kampuchea" from 1979 to 1992.


Creation of a national bank for Cambodia after independenceEdit

The National Bank of Cambodia was established on 23 December 1954, after the country gained its independence from the French Protectorate and after the Institut d’Emission, the printing house for the three Indochinese countries, was closed. At its inception, the bank emitted the national riel currency with a gold standard of a weight of 25.3905 milligrams of fine gold secured by the assets in gold and foreign currencies by the National Bank of Cambodia itself.[7] It thus served an important role as a mixed-economy entreprise of the Sangkum.[8]

The Cambodian Civil War fragilized the Cambodian banking system and on 28 October 1971, the National Bank ordered the commercial banks to suspend all foreign exchange operations in a vain attempt to establish a "flexible" rate for the riel, which value totally collapsed as the United States dollar became the de facto currency.[9]

Destruction of the Khmer RougeEdit

The National Bank of Cambodia was one of the two buildings along with the Cathedral of Phnom Penh which was systematically destroyed by the Khmer Rouge indicated their two main enemies: capitalism and religion.[10] Only ruins remained of the National Bank of Cambodia following the explosion set off by the Khmer Rouge during the fall of Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975.

Creating a bank in a communist regime under Vietnamese occupationEdit

In an ironic turn of events, the communist regime set up after the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, the People's Republic of Kampuchea, was to reintroduce the use of currency as well as reestablish the capitalist banking system. Since the main office of the National Bank of Cambodia had been demolished by the Khmer Rouge, the temporary head office of the bank was opened on the upper floor of the Khmer Bank of Commerce with credits from the Soviet Union.[11] Through the 1980s, the Central Bank of Cambodia performed both central and commercial bank functions.[12]

Restoration of the monarchy and the national bank to its gloryEdit

Headquarters in Phnom Penh

In 1990, the gravels that were left from the old building were removed in order to build a new central bank for Cambodia. Gradually the banking system was strengthened and modernized as democracy and monarchy returned to Cambodia after the 1993 general election. The building was renovated once more in 2003 and is now building new headquarters at the same location.[13]

Cambodia has an integrated sectoral financial sector authority model where the National bank of Cambodia (NBC) is only responsible for the consumer protection and market conduct (CPMC) in the banking industry.[14]

Board of DirectorsEdit

The governing body of the Central Bank is the Board of Directors. The board consists of seven members: the governor, the deputy governor, and five other members, one representing the head of government, one representing the Ministry of Economy and Finance, one representing economic activities, one representing higher education, and one representing the staff of the Central Bank. The board is headed by the governor.[15]

List of Governors
No. Name Term
1 Son Sann 1955 – 1969[16]
2 Touch Kim 1970 – 1972
3 Hing Kunthel 1972 – 1973
4 Sok Chhong 1973 – ?
disestablished (1975 – 1979)
5 Chan Phin 1979 – 1981[17]
6 Cha Rieng 1981 – 1993
7 Thor Peng Leath 1993 – 1998[18]
8 Chea Chanto 1998 – present[18]


The National Bank of Cambodia has its main headquarters in Phnom Penh as well as 21 branches in various provinces of the country[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Weidner, Jan (2017). "The Organisation and Structure of Central Banks" (PDF). Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine Duties & functions, NBC
  3. ^ "History".
  4. ^ National Bank of Cambodia-Brief History,
  5. ^ a b "Central Bank celebrates 40th anniversary". October 10, 2019.
  6. ^ "ធនាគារជាតិ នៃ កម្ពុជា - ប្រាក់រៀល ស្ថិរភាព អភិវឌ្ឈន៍". ធនាគារជាតិ នៃ កម្ពុជា.
  7. ^ Khou, Vouthy (2012). The Functionality of Monetary Plurality in Cambodia (PDF). Lyon: University of Lyon 2. p. 44.
  8. ^ Slocomb, Margaret (2010-01-01). An Economic History of Cambodia in the Twentieth Century. NUS Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-9971-69-499-9.
  9. ^ Slocomb, Margaret (2010-01-01). An Economic History of Cambodia in the Twentieth Century. NUS Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-9971-69-499-9.
  10. ^ Jackson, Karl D. (2014-04-28). Cambodia, 1975-1978: Rendezvous with Death. Princeton University Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-4008-5170-6.
  11. ^ Slocomb, Margaret (2010-01-01). An Economic History of Cambodia in the Twentieth Century. NUS Press. p. 218. ISBN 978-9971-69-499-9.
  12. ^ Clark, Heather A. (2006-03-14). When There Was No Money: Building ACLEDA Bank in Cambodia's Evolving Financial Sector. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 20. ISBN 978-3-540-28877-0.
  13. ^ Sok, Chan (2017-08-10). "Central bank to relocate". Khmer Times. Retrieved 2022-07-18.
  14. ^ "COMPLAINT HANDLING IN CENTRAL BANK TOOLKIT" (PDF). AFI Journal: 9. 15 December 2022 – via AFI.
  15. ^ "Board of Directors". National Bank of Cambodia.
  16. ^ Leifer, Michael (May 13, 2013). Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Southeast Asia. Routledge. ISBN 9781135129453 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ Gardere, Jean-Daniel (April 24, 2010). Money and Sovereignty: An Exploration of the Economic, Political and Monetary History of Cambodia. National Bank of Cambodia. ISBN 9789996351129 – via Google Books.
  18. ^ a b "Summary of World Broadcasts: Asia, Pacific". British Broadcasting Corporation. April 24, 1998 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ "Branches".