Cobac regulation R-2009/02/ determines the categories of credit institutions, their legal form and authorized activities in Cameroon.

Credit Institution

Credit institutions are those organizations, which carry out banking operations on a regular basis. These include receiving funds from the public, granting loans, issuing guarantees in favour of other credit institutions, making available to customers and managing means of payment.

  1. Funds received from the public shall be deemed funds which a person receives from a third party, in particular in the form of deposits, with the right to dispose of them on his own account, but with the obligation to return them. However, it shall be considered funds received from the public:
  • Funds received or held on account by the partners or limited partners of a partnership, the partners or shareholders holding at least 5 per cent of the share capital, the directors, the members of the management board and the supervisory board or the managers, as well as funds from equity loans.
  • Funds received by an enterprise from its employees provided that they do not exceed 10 per cent of its equity capital. In assessing this series, no account shall be taken of funds received from employees by virtue of special legislative provisions.
  • For the purposes of the COBAC regulation, a credit transaction is any act by which a person acting for valuable consideration makes funds available, promises to make funds available to another person, or enters into a signature commitment such as an endorsement, a bond or a guarantee in the latter’s interest.

Leasing and, in general, any rental operation with a purchase option are considered to be credit operations.

  • Means of payment are all instruments which, regardless of the medium or technical process used, enable any person to transfer funds.
  • Credit institutions may carry out operations related to their business, such as;

  • Foreign exchange operations.
  • Operations in gold, precious metals and coins.
  • Rental of safe deposit boxes.
  • Investment, subscription, purchase, management, custody and sale of securities and any financial product.
  • Advice and assistance in asset or financial management, financial engineering and business development, subject to the legislative provision relating to the illegal exercise of certain professions.
  • Operating leases of movable or immovable property for institutions authorized to carry out leasing operations.

Credit institutions may not:

  • Acquire or hold shares in enterprises.
  • Carryout on a regular basis an activity other than those referred to in Articles 1 and 4 of the COBAC regulation, only under the conditions defined by regulation of the Banking Commission which will define the maximum level allowed for these operations.

A credit institution in accordance with the COBAC regulation must be constituted in the legal form of a public limited company with a board of directors, within the meaning of the OHADA Uniform Act relating to the law of commercial companies and economic interest groups, with the exception of branches of credit institutions having their registered office abroad.

Credit institutions are approved as universal banks, specialized banks, financial institutions or financial companies.

Universal banks are banking institutions. They are generally entitled to receive any funds from the public. They may carry out all banking and related operations as referred to in articles 1 to 5 as well as non-banking operations under the conditions provided for in article 6 of the above regulation.

Specialized Banks

Specialized banks are banking institutions. They are generally entitled to receive any funds from the public.

Specialized banks are distinguished by the specific or restrictive nature of their field of activity. They carry out banking operations within the limits of the authorization decision that concerns them or of the statutory, legislative and regulatory provisions that are specific to them, while respecting the common prescriptions of the banking regulations.

Finance Companies

Finance companies are financial institutions that may not receive funds from the public with a term of less than two years. They shall finance their activity by their own capital, by borrowing from other credit institutions, on the capital markets or in any other way not contrary to law.

They carry out the banking operations resulting from the relevant authorization decision or from their own statutory, legislative and regulatory provisions.

Specialized Financial Institutions

They are financial institutions that may not receive funds from the public at sight and at less than two years term.

They assume a public interest mission decided by the national authority. The methods of financing their activities as well as the banking related and non-banking operations authorized are governed by legislative and regulatory texts specific to them, while respecting the common prescriptions of banking regulations.

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