(Business in Cameroon) – Between 2012 and the end of 2020, the balance sheet total of commercial banks operating in the CEMAC region increased by CFAF 4,795 billion, according to a detailed analysis of monetary statistics recently published by the central bank BEAC.
This increase is due to a 6.2-fold increase in net loans granted to the governments of member countries. According to statistics published by the BEAC, this item rose from 655.8 billion FCFA at the end of 2012 to 4,069.8 billion FCFA (at the end of January 2021, it stood at 4,280 billion FCFA).
During the period under review, credit to private economic actors (both in the financial and non-financial segments) also increased from XAF 4,865 billion to XAF 7,800 billion. As for the net assets of banks, they went from XAF 3,584 billion to XAF 2,245 billion.
In view of these data, it can be concluded that the said commercial banks granted more loans to the public sector of the member countries (+3 413 billion XAF over the period) than to private economic agents (+ 2 935.5 billion XAF over the period). period). Concretely, between 2019 and 2020, commercial bank loans to the public sector increased sharply, from CFAF 2,147 billion on January 1, 2019 to CFAF 4,070 billion as of December 31, 2020. On the other hand, net loans to agents private economies have stagnated around XAF 7.5 trillion since 2015.
Commercial banks operating in Cameroon have played an important role in overall performance during the period, strengthening the country’s position as a major financial player in the CEMAC region. Indeed, at the end of 2020, the total balance sheet of commercial banks operating in the country was 45% (against 32% in 2012) of the overall volume recorded in the CEMAC region.
Another important fact revealed by BEAC data is that during the period under review, commercial banks took most of the risks to finance private economic agents in the CEMAC region. Unlike the case of developed countries (such as the USA and Japan) where central banks have increased their total balance sheet to support all economic players, the BEAC has adopted a prudential approach. Its credits to the public sector were multiplied by 6 while its commitment to private economic agents was insignificant over the period. Moreover, with its foreign assets, its total balance even contracted during the period.