Journal of Banking Regulation

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 175–210 | Cite as

Bank holding company regulation in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa: a comparative inventory and a call for Pan-African regulation

  • John L Taylor
  • René SmitsEmail author
Original Article


This article provides an overview of the regulation of bank holding companies in three African jurisdictions (Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa), from a comparative legal perspective (with the EU and US), identifying regulation of a banking group’s parent on the basis of ten identified elements of bank holding company regulation. It reveals that, while the regulation in these African jurisdictions is advanced and often consistent, there are differences. These differences not only increase the costs and reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of banking groups operating across borders in Africa but they also complicate the work of national supervisory authorities that seek to monitor and contain the risks to the safety and soundness of the financial system. These adverse consequences lead us to recommend the building of a harmonised Pan-African regulatory environment, drawing upon the commonalities that already exist, as we believe that this would contribute to the sustainable development and well being of Africa as a whole.


Africa Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa Bank holding companies Comparative regulation and supervision Pan-African regulation EU and US BHC regulation 

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RS Law & Society Consulting B.V.HoofddorpThe Netherlands

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