The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) has released new regulations governing the opening of foreign branches or subsidiaries. This is accomplished by the Banking and Financial Institutions (Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 [GN No 13 of 2023] and is to be read in conjunction with the Banking and Financial Institutions (Licensing) Regulations, 2014.

In general, unless approved by the Bank of Tanzania, a bank or financial institution may not open a branch or subsidiary outside of Tanzania. Sections 5 and 6 of the Bank of Tanzania Act of 2006, as well as Sections 4 and 5 of the Bank and Financial Institutions Act of 2006, empower the BoT to regulate banks and financial institutions, resulting in this prohibition.

The new regulations now specify the factors that the BoT must consider before granting a request to establish a foreign branch or subsidiary. According to Regulation 40(2), the Bank shall satisfy itself that the bank or financial institution-

  1. meets minimum capital and liquidity requirements on a solo and consolidated basis;
  2. has a satisfactory performance record;
  3. is able to inject additional capital as and when required; and
  4. has the ability to manage risks arising from the established branch or subsidiary.

As can be seen, the approval is subject to the BoT’s review to ensure that the proposed foreign expansion does not endanger the integrity of Tanzania’s financial system.

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