BMI View: In terms of size, the nominal Gross Value Added USD worth of Côte d'Ivoire's financial services sector still lags significantly behind those of its key Sub-Saharan African peers, such as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. There is significant opportunity for the country to emerge as a Francophone West African financial services hub, as the Ivorian banking and financial services' sectors hold substantial potential for growth over the coming decade. We forecast that the Ivorian economy will be one of the strongest performers in Sub-Saharan Africa over the coming years and that its consumer base will widen significantly as a result, increasing opportunities for banks, insurers and asset managers. The sector is, however, currently underdeveloped relative to the size of the country's economy due to structural barriers which will remain a drag on growth. In particular, the banking sector is saturated but short on borrowers, in part because high fixed costs, regulation and poor public confidence - all of which are inhibiting financial sector penetration rates.