Banking

Tunisia Banking

The banking sector in Tunisia has benefitted from a history of relative stability, thanks to a steady hand from the regulator, a focus on banking fundamentals and a comparatively high level of sophistication, particularly in terms of services like leasing. In 2016 several indicators continued to rise, including assets and lending. However, creeping weaknesses, in terms of both public sector institutions and competition, have become more prevalent and are prompting a period of change. The industry, which is currently facing a tight liquidity environment, is also widely thought to be ripe for consolidation, though new players continue to enter the market, attracted in part by the limited level of financial inclusion, which points to extensive greenfield opportunities. Changes such as the recent recapitalisation and restructuring of the country’s public banks, and plans to move the sector towards Basel III norms by 2020 should all help reinforce the stability of the banking system in the years ahead.

This chapter contains interviews with Chedly Ayari, Governor, Central Bank of Tunisia; and Ahmed El Karm, President, Tunisian Professional Association of Banks and Financial Institutions.