Find Banking and Financial Services expertise in Mauritius
Mauritius’s banking sector is one of the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa and the country holds a unique position in the international market for financial intermediation. There are about 19 registered banks in the country, with nearly 180 branches. The banking system is well capitalised and in terms of onshore banking Mauritius Commercial Bank and the State Bank of Mauritius hold a significant share of the market. With an attractive tax regime and stable economy, Mauritius is a viable option for offshore banking, the major players of which are Barclays, HSBC, Banque Internationale des Mascareignes and Standard Chartered Bank. As of 2008, changes to the Banking Act 2004 enable banks in Mauritius to provide Islamic Banking services. The introduction of Islamic finance has provided Mauritius with a great opportunity to diversify its financial sector and provide new services in areas of banking, wealth management and investment.
Regulation of Financial Services
The banking industry on Mauritius is supervised and regulated by the Bank of Mauritius. The Financial Services Development Act placed the regulation and supervision of the non-banking financial sector under one umbrella the Financial Services Commission, while the Economic and Crime Office came into force under the Economic Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2000. According to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013) its banks were ranked in a very strong position for soundness, ranking at 15th in the world overall, with a high value of 6.2 out of 7 compared to a world mean of 5.1.
Development of Financial Services
The 2012 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index ranked Mauritius 78th in the world (out of 183 countries) for getting credit, a relatively strong position in relation to the Sub-Saharan nations, placing it alongside Nigeria. In relation to protecting investors it was placed highly at 13th in the world, coming below only South Africa amongst the Sub-Saharan nations. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13) Mauritius placed 47th in the world (out of 144 countries) for availability of financial services, coming below only the well-developed sector of South Africa, with a value of 5 out of 7, compared to a world mean of 4.5. For affordability of financial services it placed 41st, again above the world mean (4.6 out of 7 compared to 4.2), and in a very strong position in relation to other Sub-Saharan nations (below only South Africa and The Gambia). The ease of financing through the local equity market was placed at 43rd, and ease of access to loans at 37th, scoring above the world mean in both categories.