This paper investigates how the level of democratic accountability in a country affects the relationship between oil prices and financial development. We argue that the ability of oil-exporting countries to mitigate the oil curse in finance rests on the quality of their institutions. We tested this argument using a panel of 21 oil-exporting countries over the period 1984-2016. Based on sophisticated panel threshold techniques, we provide relevant insights into financial curse hypothesis. Specifically, we found that proper democratic institutions are likely to neutralize the curse in the financial sector. Another central finding emphasized that financial globalization is beneficial to the financial sector. Overall, we suggest that oil exporters should be cautious about the optimal threshold level of democracy in order to avoid the harmful effects of oil price fluctuations. Therefore, we identified the threshold level of democracy able to reverse the resource curse in the financial sector. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.