Africa banking has been built largely on the framework of the European banks that established in the colonies in the 19th century. As a result, the largest banks are found mostly in the former British colonies of South Africa and Nigeria accounting for almost one half of the largest 25, and of France, in Algeria and Morocco, accounting for the next quarter.
African banks are small in world terms having less than 1% of total world bank capital compared to almost one half for Asia, a quarter for Europe and one fifth for North America. However, African banks perform better than almost all other regions in terms of profits. They make double the amount expected relative to size, contributing 2% of global profits and deliver a 20% return on capital – the third highest level in the world.