Calls grow to open doors for Maghreb banks

Banks in the Maghreb have weathered the global financial crisis well, but they need greater access to markets in the region, said sector officials who met in Tunis this week.

The Maghreb needs a unified space for banking and finance, according to many officials from the sector who gathered in Tunis on Monday (April 12th).

Participants in the two-day regional meeting examined the Maghreb banks’ current challenges, which include growing competition among themselves and from outside institutions, in the wake of the world-wide financial crisis.

The global credit crunch did not shake the Maghreb’s banking sector as badly as it did the sectors of some other regions, according to presenters.

“Tunisian and Maghreb institutions stumbled into a tough situation in 2009 and managed to overcome the crisis and save jobs”, Tunisian Minister of Industry Afif Chelbi said at the meeting’s opening.

But stability is not as crucial as having “a strong, rapidly growing banking sector so as to enable the economy to grow and create job opportunities”, Eric Leskar of the World Financial Institute said on Tuesday…read more

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