According to Apecam president, the banking network has become denser, going from 313 bank branches in 2018 to 389 branches in 2022. Even growing trend is good, it must be noted that the number of bank branches is still low for a population estimated at 28.28 million in January 2023, according to Data report.
Over the same period (2018 and 2022), the amounts of loans granted to the economy has also increased to 4,746.4 billion FCFA in 2022 against 3,199.5 billion FCFA five years ago. According to recent banking market data provided by the National Economic and Financial Committee of Cameroon (CNEF), this indicator continues to grow. As of May 31, 2023, the volume of credit established by banks in favour of economic agents amounted to 4,925.9 billion FCFA up by 14 % year-on-year, thus crossing the mark of 5,000 billion FCFA.
In terms of deposits, considered as a barometer of public confidence, there is also a clear evolution. The meter shows performances that have almost doubled, thus going from 4,461.1 billion FCFA to 7,271.8 billion FCFA in 2022. « Banking activity during the 2020s grew by more than 15% ; while in 2021 and 2022, we experienced a higher progression. This demonstrates the stability and solidity of the banking system, which despite the growth of non-performing loans has remained resilient in the face of all these crises », said Gwendoline Abunaw reassuringly.
In addition, as regards the market shares of local bank credit at the end of December 2022, Afriland First Bank is in the lead with 1,013 billion FCFA. It is followed by the French bank Societe Generale 697.7 billion FCFA, SCB 477.2 billion FCFA, Bicec 452 billion FCFA, CBC 384.2 billion FCFA, Bgfi Bank 361 billion FCFA.
Viewed from the perspective of the penetration of banking services, banking refers to the level and importance of the population with at least one bank account. In Cameroon, the government has adopted an inclusive finance strategy document, one of the objectives of which is to enable the various financial service providers (banks, insurance companies, EMFs, mobile phone operators, electronic payment platform managers, electronic payment operators, among others) to expand the range of financial services offered to low-income, socially vulnerable or informal sector populations (men, women, young people, vulnerable people and disabled people) to meet their specific needs, in an adequate legal, regulatory and fiscal environment.