Thursday, April 18, 2013

Following the money in the Congo (DRC)

I have mentioned there are banks doing business in the DRC, but good luck trying to open a checking account if you are a local. These banks are located in the nicest parts of downtown Kinshasa; they are nice building with luxurious offices. So the question is what kind of banking are they doing?
This is a list of commercial banks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  1. Access Bank - dba - Banque Privée Du Congo (BPC)
  2. Afriland First Bank
  3. Advans Bank
  4. Banque Commerciale du Congo, since 1909
  5. Banque Congolaise
  6. Banque Congolaise du Commerce Exterieur
  7. Banque Continentale Africaine
  8. Banque de Kinshasa
  9. Banque du Crédit Agricole (BCA)
  10. Banque du Congo
  11. Banque Internationale d'Afrique
  12. Banque Internationale pour l'Afrique au Congo
  13. Barclays Bank
  14. BGFIBank DRC[2]
  15. Caisse Centrale de Coopération Économique
  16. Citibank, since 1971
  17. Crédit Agricole
  18. Ecobank[3]
  19. Fransabank
  20. Procredit Bank
  21. Nouvelle Bank
  22. Rawbank, (since 2001)
  23. Stanbic Bank
  24. SofiBank
  25. Trust Merchant Bank, (since 2004)
  26. Union des Banques Congolaises, (1920–2006)
  27. United Bank for Africa
Many of these banks are foreign owned/based, and you may even recognize some the names. There are huge piles of cash being moved in the DRC, and if you wait outside certain banks (names not mentioned) at a certain time in the morning (yes everyone sees and knows this) you will see truck loads of cash being loaded and unloaded. The money unloaded is for the street currency traders (there are hundreds of them), so it is local currency. Where do the Dollars, Euros, and Belgium Francs that are being loaded go? If this happened in the United States, it would be called money laundering, so let us call the work that the banks are doing what it is: money laundering.
When was the last time any of these banks used some of their profits to build schools or improve education in the country? I say profit because a bank will not operate in a place like the DRC unless is making money, banks are greedy that way.
Follow the money folks and we have a potential solution to some of the problems in the DRC. There is more than enough to help students learn.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

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