International bank confirms South Africa exit

 ·8 May 2024

BNP Paribas SA has closed its corporate and investment bank in South Africa, the latest example of a European bank scaling back on the continent.

“We can confirm that we have closed BNP Paribas CIB in South Africa,” a spokesperson for the bank said by phone. “From a legal perspective, the approval from the regulator came in April 2024.”

An April 19 notice shows South Africa’s central bank withdrew the French lender’s authorization to “conduct the business of a bank by means of a branch” with effect from March 8.

Barclays Plc and Standard Chartered Plc have both scaled back in Africa, while rival Societe Generale SA is also cutting its footprint on the continent.

“French banks’ exit from Africa, which is nearing its end, gives emerging pan-African banking groups significant space to grow, either organically or through mergers and acquisitions, Fitch said in an April note.

“This should stimulate competition and benefit local banking sectors despite some short-term challenges.”

Read: 6 ‘shocks’ that cost South Africa R850 billion

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