11 June 2009

Cameroon: Banking Boom in Cameroon

Financial institutions in Cameroon are cropping up like mushrooms.

Contrary to the early nineties when banks used to fold up due to the economic quagmire, financial institutions are beginning to multiply with the return of economic growth in the country. In the past decade, there has been a proliferation of financial institutions in Cameroon ranging from banks to micro finance institutions. Out side the traditional banks like BICEC, SGBC, Standard Chartered, SCB Credit Lyonnais and Afriland First Bank, new banks have come up like Oceanic Bank, Citibank, Union Bank of Cameroon, United Bank for Africa and to a lesser extent, Eco Bank.

The latest arrival in the banking sector is the Atlantic Bank which recently took over Amity Bank. Another new bank is expected in Cameroon soon. The President Director General of Attijariwafa Bank from the Kingdom of Morocco, Mohamed El Kettani was in Cameroon recently for discussions government officials. Attijariwafa bank has acquired some shares in Cameroon's local bank, SCB Credit Agricole, which they intend to use to improve on the merits of SCB Credit Agricole to bring it closer to customers.

The growth has been exponential in the micro finance sector with a multiplicity of credit unions cropping up each day like mushrooms. We have the Azire Credit Union, Ntarikon Credit Union, Police Credit, Camcul and so on. The list is in-exhaustive.

The banks have as clients, civil servants, businessmen and diplomatic missions, the micro finance institutions get their customers from among petty traders, farmers and other low income earners.

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