Burundi Finance and Banking

The financial Sector in Burundi is under the ministry of Finance. The Burundi Minister of Finance is Mr. Tabu Abdallah. All the banking is controlled by the national regulator which is the central Bank of Burundi. The governor of the central Bank of Burundi is Mr. Gaspard Sindayigaya.

Mr. Gaspard Sindayigaya- Governor of the Central Bank of Burundi.

The financial sector of Burundi is very small, dominated by banking and the government holds major stakes in different banks.
All the commercial banks in Burundi are foreign owned, mostly Belgian owned, they suffer from excessive bureaucracy and they use obsolete technology coupled with limited and poor service.

Mr. Tabu Abdallah-Minister of Finance.

Banks in Burundi include; Interbank Burundi($126 million in assets), Banque de Crédit de Bujumbura($110 million in assets), Banque Commercial Banks in Burundi($67 million in assets), Banque Burundaise pour le commerce et l’investissement (BBCI), Finalease Bank, Société Burundaise de Banque et de fanancement (SBF).
The banking sector also receives a considerable degree of foreign investment .These investors are particularly those that started featuring around colonial times. These include; The pan–African Bank of Africa Group and two Belgian companies, BIO and the Bank De Groof.
There are unbelievably high lending rates (17–20% per annum as at mid–2007), and costs of transactions are also high. The main development bank is the Banque Nationale de Developpement Economique (BNDE). Banking regulation is bureaucratic and hard. The Banking sector tends to serve only the elites.
Although there has been a considerable proliferation of the microfinance institutions, the vast majority cannot sustain their activities.
The government through the central bank has encouraged the creation of a Network of Microfinance Institutions (RIM) in order definitively to restore order to this sector. Overall, 26 microfinance institutions were licensed by the BRB at end of 2007. Their financing is based primarily on contributions from projects and from NGOs involved in the sector.
Banking Guidelines in Burundi.

  • Operations in foreign currency (concerning common international operations) can be done freely.
  • Any person resident or non–resident may open an account in foreign currency at an approved Bank, receive and make payments on these accounts
  • Some types of payments however require prior approval of the Central Bank.
  • Non–residents that invest in Burundian Currency are obliged to justify the origin of their currency by foreign exchange operation.