A second Islamic bank to open in Mauritania

Jul 20, 2012

A second Islamic bank of Mauritania is about to open in Nouakchott.

A second Islamic bank of Mauritania is about to open in Nouakchott.

The Central Bank of Mauritania has given an approval to the Ould Ebnou Liman group to create the Islamic People's Bank (BPI), a year after the Bank of Mauritania came into service in the region, Ecofin news agency reports.

With a banking rate of just 20 percent of its workforce, Mauritania needs alternative methods such as Islamic finance to improve access to credit for Mauritanians.

According to Info Noor, this method of financing is still in its infancy in Mauritania, representing only one percent of total banking assets in the country.

An executive of a commercial bank in the country told the news source he believes this low penetration is due to "excessive dearness of financial products in this circuit" and added that even if the bank does not apply any interest on a loan, "it pays itself directly through a commission established in advance with the client."

In April 2012, the governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania (BCM) Sid’Ahmed Ould Rais has announced the introduction of reforms to provide a new legal framework that is specific to Islamic finance products.

He believes that Islamic finance can widen access to banking services in the country "as the Mauritanian Muslim mentality is resistant to speculation".ADNFCR-2976-ID-801411859-ADNFCR