Mauritius Commercial Bank

Mauritius Commercial Bank
Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd
Type Limited liability company
Industry Financial Institution
Founded 1838
Founder(s) Mr. James Blyth
Headquarters 9-15, Sir William Newton Street, Port Louis, Mauritius
Area served Mauritius, Seychelles, Mozambique, Madagascar, Maldives
Products Banking
Employees More than 2,500

Foreign Entities

MCB Seychelles

MCB Mozambique

MCB Madagascar

MCB Maldives

Local Subsidiaries and Associates

MCB Capital Markets Ltd.

MCB Stockbrokers

MCB Investment Management

MCB Registry & Securities

MCB Fund Managers

MCB Capital Partners

GHF Futures

Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), founded in 1838, is the oldest and largest banking institution of Mauritius. It is also the oldest banking institution south of the Sahara and one of the oldest banks of the Commonwealth to have preserved its original name. The holding structure of the MCB Group translates its two-fold strategy namely diversification into financial services through local subsidiaries and associated companies and regional expansion through its foreign subsidiaries.



  • MCB has a local network of 40 modern branches and 150 automatic teller machines.
  • MCB’s Corporate division offers an extensive range of products and services dealing with local and offshore companies as well as the financing of projects.
  • MCB Private Banking offers traditional banking as well as exclusive services to high networth individuals.
  • The Group is present in the Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique, Maldives and South Africa through a representative office. MCB also operates branches in Reunion, Mayotte and Paris through Banque Française Commerciale Océan Indien, a joint-venture with Société Générale. The MCB Group further participates in key cross-border syndication and risk-sharing arrangements. Its International division offers project financing, trade facilitation and e-commerce enablers. MCB has a SWIFT agreements with over 1,600 partner banks throughout the world.
  • The MCB Capital Markets Group MCB Capital Markets provides a wide range of investment-related services through subsidiaries.
  • MCBIM is a specialist investment manager for corporate and institutional clients. MCBIM is licensed and regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the integrated regulator for the non-bank financial services sector in Mauritius, under section 14 of the FSD Act 2001 to conduct asset management and investment advisory services. At 31 March 2010, MCBIM managed a total of Rs 8.6 billion. GHF Futures is a joint venture between GHF Holdings and MCB Capital Markets. GHF Holdings has other trading offices in London, New York, Israel, India, China & Hungary. The company is involved in activities leading to trading in derivatives on exchanges in the UK, US, mainland Europe and all over the world. GHF Futures trades on the five major futures exchanges in the world.
  • MCB Group is represented on: facebook, twitter, linkedIn, Youtube and Foursquare.

MCB Board of Directors as at 2010

  • J. Gérard HARDY (President)
  • E. Jean MAMET (Vice President)
  • Herbert COUACAUD, C.M.G.
  • Bertrand DE CHAZAL
  • Philippe Alain FORGET
  • Sanjiv GOBURDHUN, MIoD
  • Navin HOOLOOMANN, C.S.K.
  • Jean Pierre MONTOCCHIO
  • Pierre-Guy NOEL
  • Antony R. WITHERS
  • Margaret WONG PING LUN


Corporate Social Responsibility

For some years MCB dedicated an amount equivalent to 1% of pre-tax profits to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, a ratio that it increased in 2008 to 2% of book profit derived during the preceding year. In April 2008 the bank launched an ‘Appel à Projets’, inviting non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals supported by NGOs to submit projects for consideration for funding. During the fiscal year ending June 2009, the bank spent Rs 30 million on 79 projects. Then in September 2010 MCB formally launched the MCB Forward Foundation, which would develop and support sustainable initiatives for the social, environmental and economic well-being of the community.

Sustainable development

On 6 March 2009, MCB launched Initiative 175 an ensemble of concerted, sustained and multiple actions in favour of energy saving, renewable energy production and the environment. The Bank will thus over four years until 1 September 2013 articulate initiatives for and by its employees, its customers and, more widely, the general public. Since 19 June 2009, the Bank has fully financed, at a cost of Rs 4.4 million, a series of 26 mini-documentaries entitled ‘Unisvert‘ which is broadcasted weekly on prime time television. While depicting the ecological challenges facing Mauritius, the programme invites the population to be more nature-conscious and to adopt a more ecologically responsible behaviour. In an attempt to reduce the levels of paper waste and attendant littering, balance enquiries at ATMs have been priced at 1 rupee each since 7 July 2009. The result has been both impressive and immediate: 86% of balance inquiries are now consulted on screen, resulting in the reduction of the wasteful abuse of a free service and ATM lobbies looking much cleaner. Additionally, customers have been invited since April 2009 to consider suppressing the printing of their statements of account especially if they opt for Internet Banking. To date, more than 7,000 of them have responded favorably.

MCB Group Corporate Buildings

  • MCB Centre in Port Louis, Mauritius
  • MCB Ebène in Saint Jean, Mauritius
  • Raymond Lamusse Building, Port Louis
  • Caravelle House in Seychelles

Corporate History

The Mauritius Commercial Bank’s history dates to 1838 when Governor Sir William Nicolay proclaimed the establishment of 'La Banque Commerciale de l'îsle Maurice'. The bank was an initiative by a group of traders of the capital, headed by Mr. James Blyth and Mr. William Hollier Griffiths, who wanted to establish an alternative to the Bank of Mauritius, which they felt favoured the planters on the island. In 1839, Her Majesty Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the newly established bank under the name of 'The Mauritius Commercial Bank'. The charter was renewed every twenty years until 18 August 1955 when the Bank became a limited liability company.

The bank started business with an authorised capital of 100,000 pounds sterling, around 500,000 piastres, in premises situated at rue de Paris, subsequently rue Desforges, Port Louis. Then in 1860 it shifted its activities into an office in rue de l'Eglise, now known as Sir William Newton Street. This is still MCB's registered seat.

MCB opened its first branch in Curepipe in 1920. In 1949, Lloyds Bank became a shareholder. In 1999 Lloyds' shareholding was 10%.

In 1991 MCB opened representative offices in Paris and Antananarivo, Madagascar. Together with Crédit Lyonnais (40%) and Banque de la Réunion (a subsidiary of Crédit Lyonnais-25%), MCB (35%) established Banque Internationale Des Mascareignes, an offshore unit based in Mauritius. (In 1998 Crédit Lyonnais confirmed the transfer to Caisse d'Épargne Provence-Alpes-Corse (CEPAC) of its remaining shares (25.5%) in Banque internationale des Mascareignes.) The next year, MCB became the majority shareholder of Banque Française Commerciale Océan Indien (BFCOI), which is registered in France, with the previous owner, Banque Indosuez, retaining an interest. BFCOI had branches in Réunion Island (9), Mayotte (4) and the Seychelles (1), and a head office in Paris. MCB also established Union Commercial Bank in Antananarivo. The original shareholders were MCB (70%), Standard Bank Investment Corporation Ltd (10%), BFCOI (10%), FIARO (5%) and Société Manofi (5%). By 2000, MCB's share ownership had risen to 79%. Currently, the bank has three branches. Then in 1992 MCB converted its representative office in Paris to a branch.

In 1999 MCB established a subsidiary in Maputo, Mozambique - União Comercial De Bancos (Moçambique) – in partnership with BFCOI and Proparco. By 2000 MCB's shareholding was 76% as it had bought out Proparco's 18.75% stake. The next year, MCB acquired the minority stake Crédit Agricole Indosuez held in BFCOI, increasing its own stake by 22.22% to 88.88%. This followed the takeover of Banque Indosuez by the Crédit Agricole Group, which itself had operations in both Réunion and Mayotte in direct competition with BFCOI.

MCB acquired the minority stake Crédit Agricole Indosuez held in BFCOI, increasing its own stake by 22.22% to 88.88%. This followed the takeover of Banque Indosuez by the Crédit Agricole Group, which itself had operations in both Réunion and Mayotte in direct competition with BFCOI.

In 2003, MCB and Société Générale agreed that they would split the ownership of BFCOI. However, the agreement did not include BFCOI's operations in the Seychelles. MCB therefore incorporated a new fully owned subsidiary, Mauritius Commercial Bank (Seychelles) – MCB Seychelles – to take over BFCOI's operations there.


  • Mauritius Commercial Bank. 1963. The Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited, 1838-1963. (Port Louis: The Mauritius Commercial Bank).

See also

  • List of banks in Mauritius

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