Majority of Senegalese population doesn't have access to banking services

Oct 06, 2011

A recent survey made by Le Soleil newspaper reveals some of the reasons why the majority of Senegalese do not have access to banking services.

Several consumers are calling for an improvement in banking services and a better proximity from financial institutions.

Some said they consider banks as a luxury exclusively available to wealthy people, explains the news source.

Cultural and religious reasons have also been mentioned: " Religion forbids me to earn interests. Personally, I can leave five million CFA francs in a bank," said one person.

Regarding small and medium-sized enterprises, many retail owners mentioned their lack of revenues to open an account.

More generally, the paper reported that financial services are still widely unknown.

However, some good progress has been made in the past few years. The level of access to banking services is currently of 19 percent, although it was only 6.2 percent in 2009.

This performance puts Senegal closer to its target of 20 percent fixed by the Central Bank of West African States for 2012.

Director for Senegal at the Central Bank of West African States Fatimatou Zahra Diop said earlier this month that these numbers are resulting from a PR campaign for the promotion of banking services and cashless payments in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMO), APA news agency reports.

Ms Diop also mentioned the decision of the government to make it compulsory for workers to use bank transfers and cheques for any payment above 100,000 CFAF (€152).ADNFCR-2976-ID-800750069-ADNFCR