The financial sector, dominated by the banks, is vulnerable to external shocks. The country is exposed to terms of trade shocks mainly from coffee and oil prices, which could impact banks through real sector effects. The banking system is also vulnerable to a decline in external assistance which funds nearly half of the government on which a large share of the economy depends. Burundi has not been directly affected by the international crisis, but second round effects are likely to impact growth and foreign aid prospects The Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB) is making major efforts to improve the regulation and supervision of the financial institutions under its responsibility, but it continues to face significant obstacles The microfinance sector is facing major challenges, and its supervision reflects the constraints affecting the BRB. All the on-site inspections organized by the BRB revealed serious problems and violations of prudential rules, in particular in the areas of accounting, governance, or the absence of reliable internal controls. In order to put the industry on a sound footing, it is essential to: (i) update the regulatory framework to facilitate the growth of a sound industry and introduce a specific chart of accounts; (ii) develop supervision that is capable of preserving the health of the sector, and of deposits in particular; and (iii) promote the professionalization of the industry itself, with improved human capacities, appropriate management tools, modern methodologies, and good governance.