Bank registration in Cameroon is accomplished through a series of steps. To register a bank in Cameroon, the banking law must be complied with. The banking regulation gives the steps to set up a bank and obtain a bank registration code in Cameroon. A bank is a financial institution licensed to receive deposits, make loans, engage in the business of currency exchange, and other financial services. There are two types of banks; Commercial banks and Investment banks.
The Law of 17th January 1992 regulates the registration of a bank in Cameroon. This regulation has harmonized the banking law in the six-member states of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) notably; Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Gabon.
Both the Central African Banking Commission (COBAC), and the Monetary Authority of Cameroon (the Ministry of Finance) play a dual role as regards the CAMELS ratings in view of applications for the procurement of a bank registration form, a bank registration code, the fulfilment of requirements for registering a bank in Cameroon and the grant of the license to operate in Cameroon. The acronym (CAMLES) is based on the six areas assessed: Capital Adequacy, Asset Quality, Management Earnings, Liquidity and Sensitivity to market risk.
We shall examine the following aspects;
REGISTRATION OF A BANK IN CAMEROON
The registration of a bank in Cameroon is done through a bank registration form and the fulfilment of the requirements to register a bank in Cameroon in accordance with the various regulatory bodies to wit; the Central African Banking Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the National Credit Council, the Bank of Central African States, and the Banking and Credit/Finance Association.
Each of the above-mentioned regulatory body has a specific role to play in the Cameroon bank registration process.
A Commercial bank is the only authorized registered bank in Cameroon. This type of bank must operate as Public Limited Company.
Investment in the banking sector is open to all persons or corporate bodies of Cameroonian or foreign nationality.
As at now, the bank registration process in Cameroon apply only to Commercial banks that operate as Public Limited Companies though their shares are not listed.
The requirements for registering a bank in Cameroon, and the procurement of a bank registration code include, but not limited to;
- Draft Memorandum and Articles of Association,
- Notarized List of shareholders
- A business plan,
- A budget,
- Management structure etc.
All persons occupying the position of managers must submit a list of documents for proper identification and ascertainment of their proficiency and authorized approval by the Board meeting.
REGISTRATION PROCESS ACCORDING TO THE BANKING LAW
The bank registration code is obtained in the following steps;
- Register a Public Limited Company through a qualified attorney
- Apply for a License to operate a bank
The new bank has 12 months to start functioning, failing which the license will be withdrawn. In conclusion, it is important for an attorney to engage in such a delicate procedure on behalf of persons desirous of owning a commercial bank in Cameroon. This is because an Attorney better masters the procedure of the Cameroon bank registration process and can easily manage the complexity of the administrative system.
Article by Barr. Agbor Kima Divine NgemaKima & Partners Firm