Cambodia: Financial Intermediaries-04
Predatory lending practices, loss of land, loss of livelihood, food insecurity, threats to health, child labor
In February 2022, CAO received a complaint regarding the practices of six banks or microfinance institutions in Cambodia (ACLEDA, Amret, Prasac, Hattha Bank, LOLC and Sathapana) and four financial intermediaries that invest in those banks or MFIs (Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF), Microfinance Initiative for Asia Debt Fund (MIFA), Advans S.A. and North Haven Thai Private Equity Fund L.P.). These banks are linked to 18 active IFC projects supporting lending programs for micro, small and medium enterprises.
Two NGOs filed the complaint—the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) and Equitable Cambodia (EC)—on behalf of the complainants in Cambodia. The complainants, who indicate that they have acquired loans from one or more of the six institutions mentioned above, allege that they have been harmed by predatory and deceptive lending practices, including threatening collection actions, purportedly committed by these institutions. Concerns raised in the complaint include loss of land, loss of livelihood, food insecurity and additional threats to health, and child labor.
In April 2022, CAO found the complaint eligible and initiated its assessment process. In line with CAO policy, the assessment period was extended until September 27, 2022, due to the fact that some parties involved expressed mutual interest in a CAO-facilitated dispute resolution process. However, a consensus was ultimately not reached, and CAO will proceed to a compliance appraisal to determine whether the complaint merits an investigation of the issues raised by the complainants.
The assessment report is available in English under the “Case Documents” section below this page.
In November 2022, CAO completed its assessment. Due the lack of consensus about engaging in a dispute resolution process, the complaint is now under a Compliance appraisal.
Status as of November 11, 2022.