(Business in Cameroon) - The British banking group Standard Chartered Bank announced yesterday April 14 it is withdrawing from seven countries in Africa and the Middle East. The group said it will soon close its subsidiaries in Cameroon, Angola, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe to focus on more profitable and faster-growing markets.
Standard Chartered Bank has been a small player in the Cameroonian banking sector for several years. In January 2022, for example, the banking institution granted CFA83.9 billion in credit to the economy, which represents only 1.94% of the market share. Data from Cameroon's central bank showed that Standard Chartered Bank is outperformed by Afriland First Bank, which holds 20.83% of the market share. However, the British group is doing better than the American Citi Bank (which controls 1.63% of the market), the now majority state-owned bank UBC (0.67%), and the state-owned BC-PME (0.58%). With just over CFA244 billion of deposits recorded in January 2022, Standard Chartered Bank Cameroon is also lagging in the ranking. In relative terms, the bank had a market share of only 3.91% over the period, although still better than Citi Bank (1.23%) or UBC (1.80%).
Standard Chartered Bank Cameroon has made many changes in recent years, which, according to some observers, already suggested the possibility of an exit from the country. The most recent was the decision to suspend service to individuals and focus more on services to businesses.
According to official data, services to individuals represented only 5.73% of the bank’s clientele, whose deposits were then largely dominated by private companies (55.59%) and the central public administration (21.39%).
Brice R. Mbodiam