In November 1970, the Zambian government announced that it would take a majority interest in all banks operating in Zambia; however, the banking proposals were later modified so that the government became majority shareholder through the State Finance and Development Corp. of the already state-owned Zambia National Commercial Bank Ltd. (ZNCB) and the Commercial Bank of Zambia. The state-owned Bank of Zambia (BOZ), the central bank founded in 1964, sets and controls all currency and banking activities in the country.
In 2002, the leading commercial banks were subsidiaries of Barclays, Citibank, Equator Bank, Standard Chartered, First Alliance, and Stanbic. There are two development banks: the Development Bank of Zambia and the Lima Bank. Other state-owned financial institutions include the Zambia National Building Society, and the Import Export Bank of Zambia, launched in early 1988 to promote trade generally and nontraditional exports in particular. In 1985, the first locally and privately owned bank was formed, the African Commercial Bank. Its success led to the establishment of several more, including Cavmont Merchant Bankmaking Zambia one of Africa's most "overcrowded" countries with 28 registered commercial banks at the end of December 1994. This number had dropped to twelve, however, by 2002.
The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $288.4 million. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $764.3 million.
In 1997, things were looking up for the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE), which has in the past struggled to attract new listings and improve its frequently thin trading volumes.