(Ecofin Agency) - The government of Benin announced the creation of a financial services quality observatory. The mission of this observatory will be to enhance the attractiveness of the sector to increase the use of formal financial services by SMEs and individuals.
The strategy aligns with the government's plan to improve financial inclusion and the business environment in the country. In concrete terms, the new institution will serve to promote the quality of financial services offered by credit institutions, decentralized financial systems, electronic money institutions as well as insurance companies and Benin's Post Office. It will also help to improve the quality of the relationship between financial service operators and their customers and will act as a mediator for the amicable settlement of disputes.
“The organization will keep permanent watch over the banking conditions offered to consumers of financial services to contain costs […] it will also help to strengthen the confidence of the population and small and medium-sized enterprises in financial services,” the communiqué of the Council of Ministers said.
Benin has performed well in recent years in terms of financial inclusion. According to the report on financial inclusion by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the country recorded in 2018 the highest financial inclusion rate in the WAEMU space (74.5%), followed by Togo (71.9%) and Côte d'Ivoire (70.4%). However, the country's banking rate remains low, with only 22.5% of the adult population holding an account in banks, postal services, national savings banks, and the Treasury in 2018.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou