Find Banking and Financial Services expertise in Guyana
The banking and financial services sector in Guyana is relatively small and undeveloped. The sector is comprised of commercial banks, insurance companies, securities registrants, non-bank financial institutions, co-operative societies, and money transfer agencies.There are approximately six commercial banks operating in the country all of which are privately owned. Commercial banks held around 45% of total financial sector assets in 2009. The largest banks in the country are foreign owned and these account for approximately 60% of total assets of commercial banks. The financial sector experienced growth in 2010, with an 8.4% increase in the banking system’s net foreign assets. Non-bank financial institutions saw a 6.5% increase in net deposits.
Regulation of Financial Services
The country’s central bank, the Bank of Guyana, was established in 1998 as an autonomous institution to monitor and foster the development of Guyana’s financial system. All banks and non-insurance financial institutions must obtain a license from the Bank of Guyana. Up to 2011 the Bank was continuing to implement many of the recommendations made by an IMF Financial Assessment Program conducted in 2005 which focused on strengthening bank supervision. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13) rated Guyana 52nd in the world for soundness of its banks it, a similar position to its near neighbours – Suriname at 49th and Venezuela at 96th.
Development of Financial Services
Guyana is still working on its institutional foundations for financial sector development, placing 166th out of 183 countries in the 2011 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report’s index for getting credit. In relation to protecting investors it placed Guyana 79th, a ranking in line with much of the surrounding region, ranking the country alongside Brazil. The score reflects the continued efforts to improve legal and regulatory reform to facilitate the expansion of bank credit to the private sector. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13) Guyana placed 70th in the world (out of 144 countries) for its availability of financial services and 72nd for its affordability of financial services, scoring above Nicaragua, Suriname and Venezuela in both categories. For financing through local equity market it ranked 77th, again above nations with a similar GDP, coming 17 places above Suriname. With regard to ease of access to loans it placed 76th, again well above Suriname.