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Impact of pan-African banks on financial development in sub-Saharan Africa

Research reports

Written by Judith Tyson, Sherillyn Raga

Across sub-Saharan Africa there has been a rapid rise of pan-African banks (PABs). These bank subsidiaries headquartered in African countries have expanded their activities across the continent following the retrenchment of traditional European and US banking groups after the global financial crisis. Today, major PABs have a more significant footprint in sub-Saharan Africa than banks from outside the region. This pattern of expansion means these banks are becoming increasingly economically and systemically important in their host economies, and indicates how they could be fundamental to Africa’s future financial landscape.

Research on pan-African banks’ contributions to the continent’s financial development remains scarce. This new synthesis report engages with the available evidence to highlight existing understandings of PABs’ impact on financial inclusion, deepening and stability. Drawing on literature published by the FCDO-ESRC funded Development and Economic Growth Research Programme (DEGRP), the authors also provide insights for policy-making in the region, as well as suggested priorities for future research work.