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Mr. Mauro Mecagni, Daniela Marchettini, and Mr. Rodolfo Maino
Banking in SSA has undergone very significant changes over the last two decades. Financial liberalization and related reforms, upgrades in institutional and more recently the expansion of cross-border banking activities and the rapid development of Pan-African banking groups are signaling greater financial integration and significant changes in the African banking and financial landscape. Nonetheless, excess liquidity in many countries reflects limited lending opportunities and, despite improvements, asset quality and provisioning remain comparatively low. Dollarization has also been a persistent characteristic in several natural resource-dependent economies. This paper discusses key stylized facts and trends of banking development in SSA, looking at a variety of dimensions such as size, depth, soundness, and efficiency. It also assess the rapid expansion of pan-African banking groups, which have overtaken the role of the European and U.S. banks that had traditionally dominated banking activities in SSA, creating significant cross-border networks and becoming the largest participants in new syndicates and large bilateral loans to finance infrastructure development.
Mr. Charles Enoch, Mr. Paul Henri Mathieu, Mr. Mauro Mecagni, and Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko
Pan-African banks are expanding rapidly across the continent, creating cross-border networks, and having a systemic presence in the banking sectors of many Sub-Saharan African countries. These banking groups are fostering financial development and economic integration, stimulating competition and efficiency, introducing product innovation and modern management and information systems, and bringing higher skills and expertise to host countries. At the same time, the rise of pan-African banks presents new challenges for regulators and supervisors. As networks expand, new channels for transmission of macro-financial risks and spillovers across home and host countries may emerge. To ensure that the gains from cross border banking are sustained and avoid raising financial stability risks, enhanced cross-border cooperation on regulatory and supervisory oversight is needed, in particular to support effective supervision on a consolidated basis. This paper takes stock of the development of pan-African banking groups; identifies regulatory, supervisory and resolution gaps; and suggests how the IMF can help the authorities address the related challenges.