Benin - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing

It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.

Last published date: 2021-09-29

Methods of Payment

Letters of credit, bank drafts, bills of exchange, money wiring, checks, credit cards, and cash are commonly used to make payment for imports.  Within the country, cash is the most common form of payment for local transactions.  Businesses may accept checks from customers with whom they are familiar.  U.S. exporters new to the Beninese market should request an irrevocable confirmed letter of credit drawn on one of the major banks.

Banking Systems

The banking system in Benin is regulated by the regional central bank, Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO) and the Banking Commission of the West African Monetary Union (WAEMU, known in French as La Commission Bancaire de l’Union Economique et Monetaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA)).  All banks in Benin are private sector institutions and belong to either an international or regional banking group.  These banks are often reluctant to lend medium- and long-term loans.

Foreign Exchange Controls

The local currency (CFA Franc) is pegged to the Euro at CFA 655.957 for €1.00. Transactions requiring foreign exchange must be duly documented and approved by exchange control authorizations.  Exceptions include foreign travel, foreign education, or medical expenses within prescribed limits.  Expatriates can remit their salaries outside Benin.  Transfers within the UEMOA zone are not subject to foreign exchange controls.

Implications for U.S. business:  All investments by a foreign investor in Beninese companies must be declared to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

All loans given by U.S. individuals or companies to a Beninese borrower must also be declared to the Ministry of Economy and Finance to facilitate the transfer of repayments of principal and interest.

Foreign transfers executed through the BCEAO must include the following information: (i) instructing party, (ii) the amount in CFA Francs, (iii) amount in foreign currency, (iv) name and the address of the beneficiary, (v) account number and banking domicile of the beneficiary, and (vi) the purpose of the transfer and supporting documents.

U.S. Banks & Local Correspondent Banks

Orabank is the only bank active in Benin with indirect U.S. ownership.  Citibank’s correspondent bank in Benin is Ecobank Benin.  The French bank Societe Generale operates in both the United States and Benin.

There are 13 banks operating in Benin: 11 commercial banks and two regional banks..

ECOBANK — Ecobank and U.S. EXIM Bank have signed a Master Guaranty Agreement to encourage medium- and long-term loans for businesses, one of the first agreements of this type within francophone Africa.

Mr. Lazare Noulekou, General Manager

Rue du Gouverneur Bayol

01 BP 1280

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229 21313069

Fax: +22921313385

Email: ecobankbj@ecobank.com

 

Orabank — formerly Financial Bank, a member of Emerging Capital Partners, a Washington D.C.-based private equity firm.

Ms. Josiane Tchoungui, General Manager

01 BP 2700

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229 21-31-31 00 / 03 / 04

Fax: +229 21-31-31-02

Email: josiane.tchoungui@orabank.net

Bank of Africa — U.S. Ex-Im Bank has signed a Master Guaranty Agreement with Bank of Africa and ECOBANK to encourage medium- and long-term loans for businesses, the first agreement of this type within francophone Africa.

 

Mr. Sadio Cisse, General Manager

08BP 0879

Cotonou, Benin

Tel:  +229 21-31-32-28

Fax:  +229 21-31-31-17

Email: information@boabenin.com

 

NSIA Banque Benin — 00229 21 31 96 00

00229 21 31 98 98

Mr. Benedict Ihekire, General Manager

01 BP 955

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229 21319600

WhatsApp: 00229 61 42 56 56

Email: ecoute@nsiabanque.com 

 

Societe Generale du Benin — SGB is a French bank opened in 2002.

Mr. Yery Seck, General Manager

01 BP 585

Avenue Clozel

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229 21-31-83-00Fax: +229 21-31-82-95

Email: banque.sgb@socgen.com; serviceclient.sgb@socgen.com

 

Banque Sahelo-Sahélienne pour le Commerce et l’Investissement , BSIC-Benin— a Libyan sub-regional Islamic bank.

Mr. Mensan Adeboke Affambi, General Manager

              

08 BP 485

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229 21-31-87-07/21-31-87-05

Fax: +229 21-31-87-04

E-mail: bsic.benin@bsicbank.com

 

Banque Atlantique du Benin — BAB opened in 2005.

Mr. Alexis Loueke, General Manager

 08 BP 0682

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229 21-31-10-19

Fax: +229 21-31-31-21

Email: infobabn@banqueatlantique,net  

                  

Banque Internationale pour l’Industrie et le Commerce-BIIC Bank Benin

Mr. Didier Ayibatin, General Manager

03 BP 2098

Cotonou, Benin

Tel. +229-21312200

Fax: +229-21312200

Email: secretariatdg@bibebank.com;

 

United Bank for Africa (UBA).

Mr. Olubenga Martins Makinde, General Manager

Carrefour des Trois Banques

Avenue Pape Jean-Paul II

01BP2020

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229-21312424

Fax; +229-21311699

Email: cfcbenin@ubagroup.com

 

BGFI Bank-Benin — a subsidiary of the French-Gabonese BGFI Bank, with headquarters in Gabon. It was established in 2010 in Benin.

Mr.Pascal Kove, General Manager

01 BP 4270

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229-21313348/21313364

Fax: +229-21-313339

Email: benin@bgfi.com;

                                                                                                                                                      

CCEI Bank Benin – subsidiary of Equatorial Guinea CCEI Bank, opened in 2015.

Mr. Herve Borna, General Manager

RIlot 524-Cue Gouverneur Bayol

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +22921365910/21311051

 

Email: contact@cceibankbenin.com  

 

Societe Nigerienne de Banque-SONIBANK

Mr. Salissou Hamza, General Manager

Centre Kodeih Nº9

Rue Gouverneur Bayol

Cotonou,

Tel: +229 21-31-21-89

 

CBAO (Groupe Attijariwafa Bank)

Mr. Abas Haidara, General Manager

04 BP 6441

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +22921365902

 

Coris Bank International

Mr. Jean-Jacques Golou, General Manager

01 BP 5783

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +2921360054

 

Africaine des Garanties et du Cautionnment-AFGA

Mr. Todedji Landry Adje

1227 Av. Du Gouverneur Van vollen Hoven

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229 21310296

Fax:+229 21310257

 

Banque Centrale Des Etats De L’Afrique De L’Ouest (BCEAO) —

BCEAO-Benin is the Benin office of the Central Bank of the West African States, with headquarters in Dakar, Senegal.

 

Mr. Mr. Alain Michel Komaclo, National Director

BP 325

Cotonou, Benin

Tel: +229 21-31-24-66/31-24-67

Fax: +229 21-31-24-65

Email: courier.Bdn@bceao.int

 

Banque Ouest Africaine de Developement (BOAD) — local office of the West African Development Bank based in Lome, Togo.

Mr. Mahamadou Biga Hassyou, Resident Chief of Mission

01 BP 268

Agence Principale

Av. Jean Paul II

Cotonou, Benin

Tel:  +229 21-31-59-35

Fax:  +229 21-31-59-38

Email:  mbiga@boad.org