In November 1972, a new central bank, the Bank of the Central African States (Banque des États de l'Afrique Central-BEAC), replaced the existing Central Bank of the States of Equatorial Africa and Cameroon, which had been controlled by French interests. This move was designed to strengthen the monetary solidarity and sovereignty of the Central African Republic and other member African nations, which would now control part of their foreign exchange and monetary policies. France continues to guarantee the convertibility of the CFA franc.
Other banks are the International Bank for Occidental Africa (20% state owned) and the Union Bank of Central Africa (60% state owned). The state has a one-third share in the Bank of Agricultural Credit and Development, established in 1984. By late October 1996, the efforts of the prime minister (and minister of finance and economics), Jean-Paul Ngoupandé, and reformist colleagues to rescue government finances and public sector management were impressing the IMF, the World Bank, and France. Hopes were rising that the country might eventually secure an agreement with the IMF for an Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF). Only with an ESAF in place can the Central African Republic (CAR) look forward to large-scale, longer-term economic aid commitments or the granting of debt relief from the Pan's Club of its official bilateral creditors.
The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $135.3 million. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $149.6 million. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 6.5%.
There is no securities market.