(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian government plans to transfer CFA165.6 billion from local commercial banks’ accounts to the Single Treasury Account (STA) by the end of 2023. The public resource repatriation plan, set to unfold with the help of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), was announced by Achille Bassahag, Director of Public Accounting at the Ministry of Finance.
Indeed, as per the 2023 budget law, “the accounts of government agencies opened in the books of commercial banks and microfinance institutions will be closed by December 31, 2025, based on a timetable established with the banking sector." The money in those accounts will therefore be transferred to a single account opened in the books of the central bank BEAC. The law does specify that a regulatory document will outline the closing procedures and timetable but the specific details of the document are currently unavailable.
As of December 31, 2022, over CFA1.3 trillion of public deposits were held in credit institutions, out of a total outstanding balance of CFA7 trillion. This means that by the end of 2025, when the overall repatriation plan is completed, the cash position of banks with high exposure to the government could be affected, limiting their ability to finance the economy.
However, Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze reassured the banking sector, during a ceremony to present the 2022 public securities issuance program to local banks, that “things will be done smoothly” to avoid any inconvenience to the sector.