Top 4 Best Savings Accounts in Cambodia (2020)
Cambodia has many high-yielding savings accounts offered by both commercial banks and micro-finance lenders — in this article we cover the best from both banking segments in Cambodia.
Before we get into our top picks, we’d like to briefly touch on best practices when saving in Cambodia.
Due to “corruption” we’d personally limit our savings to just a few thousand USD, and then invest the rest in stocks/equities outside of Cambodia — particularly in Thailand. If you’re a foreigner there’s ETF’s such as THD that would be excellent for this — if you’re a Cambodian citizen we’d recommend doing similar after signing up to a non-Cambodian brokerage that accepts Cambodians such as Interactive Brokers.
It saddens me to have to have to say such things — but I’ve met and heard stories of many people being blackmailed or set-up (criminally) with drugs or other serious offenses after transferring significant sums of money in the country from abroad — likewise I’ve met many local Cambodians who have had similar issues after they became wealthy and being accused of profiting off illegal activities when I knew the source of the funds (a business partnership between us).
I hope this changes and that Cambodia moves past this soon, but as of 2020 we feel obligated to be transparent about this for foreigners or locals who simply have no idea that such things can happen. It can, and if it does you really have no choice but to essentially get robbed by those corrupt criminals — so take precautions to avoid it happening to you. Namely keeping limited cash in Cambodian Savings and Investment accounts.
With that out of the way, here’s the best savings accounts in our opinion in Cambodia — it’s your choice how much you keep in these account, but as we said above we’d personally limit it to a few thousand dollars to avoid making yourself a target.
Our Top Pick: HKL's Savings Account
Hattha Kaksekar’s Savings Account is our top pick as it’s a subsidiary of a massive Thai Bank that’s well ran, trusted, and capitalized. Because of this we are confident that despite being a Micro-Finance Lender HKL won’t go bankrupt or have any major issues.
In our view this account provides the best risk-reward for your savings account, and pretty good interest rates (around 2.5% -> 3%) in KHR, USD, and THB, which is higher than the inflation rate of these currencies currently. Personally we’d open this account and try to hold Baht in it — as we believe the Thai baht is safer than the US Dollar as well as the Cambodian Riel (KHR).
There’s no real downsides to this account in our view — it has locations throughout the whole country, is backed by a large Thai bank, and is generally extremely transparent about their financial conditions which lead up to believe this is the best overall choice in Cambodia. You can check current interest rates this account offers and what’s needed to apply on HKL’s savings account page on their website.
Best for Digital Banking: ABA Bank's Mobile Savings Account
This is one of the safest banks in Cambodia, although the interest rate they provide isn’t very good — at only 0.15% to 1.25% — and it has a fantastic website interface for online banking and an extremely well developed app that allows you to manage your finances on your phone without ever needing to go into a branch or going on your computer if you don’t want to.
The main advantage of this account is it’s safety and ease of use — if you’re a young person who’s used to tech and can’t be bothered dealing with physical branches/locations every time you want to deposit money or make a change with your account you’ll probably prefer to bank with ABA, as it takes a lot of the hassle of banking and saving away.
You can open this account digitally on their mobile app — which is a big plus in our opinion. You can find the link to ABA’s mobile banking app on their website by clicking here.
Best High-Yield Account: LOLC's Savings Account
This is the absolute highest yielding semi-trustworthy bank — or really micro-finance lender — in Cambodia in our opinion. It wouldn’t be our personal choice despite it’s higher yield of around 5% for USD, KHR, or THB deposits, simply because we’re less confident in the financial conditions of this bank.
We believe this bank should be perfectly okay and be able to pay the interest for the foreseeable future — however in the event of a depression in the Cambodian Economy we think this bank may struggle. As a result we’d say if you choose to go for the highest-yield with this account then make sure to pull your money out if the Cambodian Economy loses momentum.
We would not recommend this account for foreigners (non-Cambodians), however for Cambodian Citizens if you don’t mind taking a little risk and being diligent on how Cambodian is doing economically — then this account might be a good choice for you. Unfortunately you can’t apply online for this account — we’d still recommend visiting the related page to this account on their website to ensure you have all the documents needed to open the account however.
Safest Savings Account: Acleda's Saving Account
If you want to absolutely be certain and safe with your savings and take no risks, Acleda’s Savings account might be the best choice for you. They’re the largest bank in Cambodia and don’t really participate in Micro-Finance Loans, which are riskier than traditional loans. Instead Acleda simply buys treasuries and give you a percentage of the yield they get from them — this makes it less risky, but also yield pitiful interest rates of only 0.05% to 0.5% depending on the currency you hold in the account.
Overall this isn’t our first choice — maybe it’d be our second or third choice for a saving account in Cambodia though, simply because we know this bank won’t run into any financial trouble even if the Cambodian economy goes into a depression. We’re positive on the economic outlook of Cambodia though — which is why we prefer to take some risk with a conservative micro-finance lender such as HKL.
Regardless, if you would prefer the most security in your savings while keeping it in Cambodia then this account would be our choice.