Few takers for bank accounts at $700 apiece

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It takes over $700 to open a checking account in Cameroon - more than the country's per capita GDP. In 10 percent of countries surveyed in a World Bank report, a person must have an equivalent of at least 50 percent of per capita GDP to open an account.

The result: only 20 percent of families in Africa have bank accounts. The graphic below shows the share of the population that can't afford checking account fees:


But more stable and predictable monetary policies, privatization of many state-owned banks and improvements in regulation are encouraging more banks, such as Barclays or Standard Bank of South Africa, to compete for new customers.

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