7 African countries with the most commercial banks

Of all these different types of banks, commercial banks seem to be the ones that are always at the center of all banking discussions. And that’s because of the crucial role they play in every economy. For example, they help create capital, provide credit facilities and maintain liquidity in every economy.

What is a commercial bank?

According to Bankrate LLC, a New York-based financial services company, “A commercial bank is a for-profit financial institution that accepts deposits, offers loans, and provides other financial services to its customers.”

Commercial banks are the main types of banks in the world, whether in terms of number/availability, size of assets and profitability. In Asia, there are at least 1,900 commercial banks. In the United States alone, there are over 4,000 commercial banks. And Europe has more than 6,000 such banks, according to Statista.

Commercial banks in Africa

On the other hand, Africa has a total of 763 commercial banks. And some countries have more banks than others, as expected. Soon, we will focus on those countries that have the highest number of commercial banks.

Now, it is important to point out that having a wide range of commercial banks does not always translate to stronger or better banking systems. To put this into context, Tanzania has more commercial banks than South Africa. But South African banks are more valuable (in terms of asset size) than Tanzanian banks.

Below are seven African countries with the most commercial banks. We have compiled this list using information gleaned from sources such as African Central Banks, Statista, etc.

  1. Kenya: has 39 commercial banks according to Statista
  2. Egypt: has 37 commercial banks, according to the Central Bank of Egypt
  3. Tanzania: has 34 commercial banks, according to the Bank of Tanzania
  4. Nigeria: has 24 commercial banks, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria
  5. Uganda: has 24 commercial banks, according to the Bank of Uganda
  6. Ghana: has 23 commercial banks, according to the Bank of Ghana
  7. South Africa: Has 18 commercial banks, according to the Reserve Bank of South Africa.

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