If you are not formally employed or do not have your own registered company in Cambodia, not every bank is willingly going to provide you with a bank account. Moreover, if you don’t have a lease agreement (e.g., you live at a hotel), it’s even more difficult.
I tried to open accounts with all 36 licensed banks in the Kingdom. I’m self-employed, do not have a registered company, and don’t have a lease agreement. I succeeded nine times.
I discovered that there are three types of banks:
- The no-hassle, no-questions asked banks. You just walk in with your valid visa (I have a 6-month visa), deposit a low amount, usually just $10, and walk out with your passbook!
- The ones that want at least some kind of proof that you live here. A lease agreement is usually required. Other requirements may be an official address confirmation, a visa valid for at least a certain period of time or a recommendation letter from an existing costumer.
- Those banks that require proof of employment or a Cambodian business license.
On the other hand, it’s also entirely possible that some banks just aren’t inclined to open accounts for unkempt & unshaven random foreigners like me. So, your mileage may vary. But anyways, here’s the list:
1. No-hassle banks
2. Some-proof banks
ICBC Bank ***
3. Proof-of-employment banks
Cambodia Mekong Bank
* without proof of employment, you won’t be able to apply for an ATM card
** need some official proof of address
*** at these banks, they only got apprehensive once they saw me copying the address from my hotel card (it took me a while to realize that it would be advisable to memorize the address). They might have given me the account otherwise
**** First Commercial Bank wants a recommendation letter from an existing customer. That’s apparently the only requirement