Financial experts recently said that the number of current Iraqi banks, with few branches, is not enough to contribute to the economic development of the country, indicating that every 50 thousand citizens need a single bank to meet their banking requirements, 640 banks in total.
They added that the need to encourage renown international banks to open branches in Iraq would strengthen the banking sector and develop the national economy.
It’s worth to noting that the banking sector in Iraq consists of 43 banks in addition to the Central Bank including seven Islamic banks along with six foreign banks.
Abdul Hussein al-Yasiri, a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee (National Alliance) said that the new economic strategy aims at transferring the country from the socialist system to a free market economy supported by the private sector support, in addition to creating a balance between local and international banks to contribute in the development of Iraq.
Yasiri said that the number of current local banks is not enough to meet the needs of the economic activity in the country, in terms of financing and deposits. Actually with limited capital, current local banks in Iraq cannot deliver the most basic services that international banks provide.
He added that international data suggest that every 50 thousand citizens need one bank to meet their financial and banking requirements, and since Iraq’s population is estimated at 32 million, and then divided by 50 thousand, we will come up to 640 banks that Iraq needs to meet customer demands.
Nahida Daini, a member of the parliamentary Economy and Investment Committee said that the number of commercial banks is not enough to meet the investment requirements of the country due to a lack of capital. It’s important to encourage global banks to open branches in Iraq to contribute to the economic development, she added.
According to Daini, the state-owned banks, Rafidain Bank and Rasheed cannot cover all the requirements of the economic process in the country.
The IQD Team