It is NOT necessary to open a Cambodian bank account to buy a property, but here is why you should open one. If you intend to buy property in Cambodia, opening an account is not a legal requirement.
Many expats choose to use their bank accounts in their country and use them as their primary source of cash. But it quickly gets expensive with ATM fees (up to $5 per transaction) for foreign cards used in Cambodia, it’s not the most economically viable way to carry out day-to-day expenses.
What are my options if I don’t have a Cambodian bank account and want to buy a property?
You can use a lawyer’s account and/or transfer money directly to a property developer. If you choose to transfer directly to the promoter, be sure to seek legal advice before doing so.
The advantages of opening a local bank account for a real estate investment:
If you plan to collect rent from your tenants locally, having a local bank account reduces your transfer costs. It is also much easier to access local funds and local transfers through banking apps. This will allow you to pay your expenses with minimum hassle and cost.
As in any foreign country, there are high risk factors for direct transfer of large sums of money to unknown person(s).
And while Cambodian law is becoming increasingly sensitive to the needs of foreign investors, anyone looking to invest in the Kingdom would still do well to secure their groundwork and open a bank account if possible.