Guinea - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing
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Methods of Payment: Cash and mobile money are by far the most used methods of payment in Guinea, with even large business transactions being completed in cash. This extends to transactions being completed in Guinean Francs and foreign currencies. Checks and bank to bank transfers are not as common as cash transactions.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.

Banking Systems: Guinea’s financial system is small and dominated by the banking sector. It comprises 19 active banks, 19 insurance companies, 19 microfinance institutions and 6 e- money institutions. Guinea’s banking and e-currency sector is overseen by the Central Bank (BCRG), which also serves as the government treasury to supervise banking and credit operations in Guinea and abroad. The BCRG manages foreign exchange reserves on behalf of the State. The Office of Technical Assistance of the Department of the Treasury assesses that Guinea does not properly manage debt and that its treasury is too involved in the process, although improvements made in 2017-2018 point to a better future.

Further information on the BCRG can be found in French at

Due to the difficulty of accessing funding from commercial banks, small commercial and agricultural enterprises have increasingly turned to microfinance, which has been growing rapidly with a net increase in deposits and loans. The quality of products in the microfinance sector remains mediocre, with bad debt accounting for five percent of loans with approximately 17 percent of gross loans outstanding.

Credit to the private sector is low, at around 13.6 percent of GDP in 2022 whereas the Sub-Saharan Africa average is around 45 percent. Where credit is available, it is on expensive terms: the BCRG reports that the average commercial lending interest rate in 2022 was 15% compared with about 4 percent in West Africa Economic and Monetary Union countries and between 15 and 20 percent in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The banking sector is highly concentrated in Conakry and is technologically behind. Banks in Guinea tend to favor short-term lending at high interest rates. While the microfinance sector grew strongly from a small base, it was hit hard during the 2014-2016 Ebola crisis.

Foreign Exchange Controls: Guinea’s Investment Code guarantees the free transfer of capital.

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks: No U.S. banks have local branches or operations in Guinea, but Vista Bank is a U.S. owned regional bank. In July 2021, Vista Group acquired Guinea’s largest bank, BICIGUI. Vista Bank is in the process of rebranding the 87 branches as VISTA. In August 2023, Vista Group also announced further expansion with its acquisition of the Oragroup S.A, the holding company of Orabank which operates in Guinea subject to the obtention of regulatory approvals.

EcoBank is the preferred bank for most U.S. dealings with U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act (FACTA) reporting requirements.

For more information on the banking system please read the section Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment of the Investment Climate Statement.