CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

East Asia & the Pacific

Cambodia / Financial Intermediaries 01-03

Date Filed
June 11, 2018
Social and Environmental Impacts
Case Status
Open - Ombudsman



IFC has an active equity investment in ABBank ($50 million quasi-equity /$25 million A loan) (Project No. 29745). The project proposes to forge a long-term partnership between IFC and ABBank by providing long term financing to the Bank, structured both as senior and convertible debt instruments. According to IFC, its investment aims to allow the Bank to maintain a healthy CAR while growing its loan portfolio, and to support climate change initiatives and enhance financing for eligible projects in the Energy Efficiency (EE) and Cleaner Production (CP) arena. The complainants have also alleged that IFC is exposed to the project via another IFC banking client in the region.


In June 2018, CAO received a complaint regarding IFC Financial Intermediary clients, ABBank and another IFC banking client in the region, in relation to a range of social and environmental impacts related to the Lower Se San Dam 2 project in Cambodia.


CAO Action
CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in July 2018, and began an assessment of the complaint.  CAO decided to extend its assessment timeframe of 120 days due to the need to establish contact with additional stakeholders, whose views are relevant for the assessment of this complaint.  Responding to a stakeholder request due to challenges faced in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the assessment period was initially extended to January 2021.  Upon request of the complainant, CAO decided to further extend the assessment period through December 31, 2021 in the interest of ensuring that the potential for dispute resolution has been fully explored with all parties concerned.

CAO's assessment of the case is ongoing.


Status as of September 28, 2021


Note: A CAO assessment does not entail a judgment on the merits of complaints. Rather, the aim is to listen to people's concerns, understand the different perspectives, and determine what options are available to address the complaint through CAO's Dispute Resolution and Compliance functions.


Project information

Project Name & Number
Financial Intermediaries 01-03
Financial Markets
ABBank; IFC Banking Client in the Region
East Asia & the Pacific
Environmental Category
ABBank: up to $75m; IFC Banking Client

Case Tracker


  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: In Process