The Bank of Issue of Equatorial Guinea was established on 12 October 1969 as the central bank. In January 1985, the country joined the CFA zone, and the Bank of the Central African States (Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale-BEAC) became its central bank. In 1993, a supranational supervisory authority was created for BEAC states, called the Commission Bancaire de l'Afrique Centrale (COBAC). The story of commercial banking since independence has been a sorry one, and the lack of cheap and efficient commercial credit is blamed as a major obstacle to economic growth. Banking functions prior to independence were carried out mainly by the Banco Exterior de España (BEE), in association with two smaller Spanish institutions. Spanish banks almost stopped functioning after independence and withdrew altogether in 1972. As of 2002, there were only two banks operating in the country, with net holdings of $53 million.
The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $65.9 million. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $88.3 million. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 6.5%.
There are no securities exchanges.