In 2008 the country's financial system consisted of six public banks, 14 foreign-owned private banks one financial institution specializing in agriculture and five non-deposit-taking institutions.
The six state-owned banks own about 85% of total assets and extend 80% of total loans. Their foreign counterparts, however, are driving the sector overhaul with products, technology and management practices. The post office also offers simple banking services, with money transfers and savings accounts. Due to their existing network, they are among the most common accounts, particularly for people in out of the way places.
"The number of post offices per capita is currently at one to 10, 500," said Mohamed Hammadi, the director general of Algerie Poste. "This is significantly lower than the average of the Maghreb and we are pressured to get our branch network in line With our neighbors." The post has 463 ATMs nationwide, but planned 300 more for 2009.
Public sector banks play an important role in the Algerian economy because of their legacy and geographic distribution.