You don’t need a Cambodian bank account, but here is why you should open one.
If you are intending to purchase your new home/investment in Cambodia, opening an account is not a legal obligation.
Many expats choose to keep their bank accounts from home open and use them as their primary source of cash. It quickly becomes evident with mounting ATM charges (up to $5 per transaction) for foreign cards in Cambodia (and the home banks often charging the same), this is not the most economically viable way to conduct daily spending.
What are my options if I don’t have a local bank account and want to purchase a property?
You can use a lawyer's account and/or transfer monies directly to a developer. If you choose to transfer directly to the developer please ensure you seek legal advice prior to doing so.
The benefits of opening a local bank account for investment properties
If you plan to receive rental from your tenants locally, having a local bank account reduces your transfer fees. It's also much easier to have access to local funds and local transfers through bank apps. This will allow you to pay expenses when overseas with minimal fuss and cost.
As with any foreign country, there are high-risk factors of transferring large sums of cash directly to an unknown person/persons. And while Cambodian law is becoming more sensitive to the needs of foreign investors, anyone looking to invest in the Kingdom would still do well by securing their bases and opening a bank account if possible.
If you are interested in opening a bank account in Cambodia, please read our ultimate guide to banking for foreigners in Cambodia.
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