The banking industry is controlled by the Association of Banks, in liaison with the government. In 1999 there were nine banks operating in Brunei. Of these, three were locally incorporated and six were foreign, among them the Hongkong Bank, Malayan Banking Berhard, and Citibank. The International Bank of Brunei, in which the sultan has a 51% stake, is the larger of the local banks. The other, the National Bank of Brunei, was seized in 1986 by the government, which charged the majority shareholders with irregularities, and later closed in the early 1990s. Other banks are the Baiduri Bank, Sime Bank, the Development Bank of Brunei, the Overseas Union Bank, and the Standard Chartered Finance (Brunei) Berhad. The managing director of the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, met France's Treasury director, Jean Lemierre, in mid-December 1996 to discuss the possibility of opening a BIA office in Paris. BIA's French investments are currently managed from the agency's offices in London and Brussels. Approximately half of the country's revenue is now derived from the income from these investments. The Brunei Investments and Commercial Bank, a subsidiary of the Brunei Investment Agency, acquired a 13.4% stake in the Australian Macquarie Bank in November 1996, making the BIA the single largest shareholder.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2000 the purchasing power parity of Brunei Darussalam's exports was $3 billion while imports totaled $1.4 billion resulting in a trade surplus of $1.6 billion.