The year 2022 has not been easy for Bank Al-Maghrib, which has put the turbo to finalize and adopt a series of regulatory texts. Thus, at the prudential level, the central bank has made progress on finalizing a directive governing the prevention of corruption risks and the use of cloud computing.
In terms of consumer protection, regulatory work focused on closing accounts, informing credit applicants and promoting gender.
BAM has also amended the texts governing payment establishments in order to support the enrollment of agent networks as well as the network of merchants accepting mobile payment.
This year also saw the completion of Bank Al-Maghrib circulars which will accompany the launch of the new collaborative financing instrument called “crowdfunding”.
• Amendment of circulars relating to payment institutions
The amendments relate to the abolition of the merchant status requirement for payment agents and the lifting of the cap on payment accounts opened in favor of accepting merchants. These amendments are intended to help payment institutions make their enrollment operations easier and therefore further expand the network of payment agents and merchants accepting mobile payment.
• Use of cloud computing
In the context of the increased digitization of the services and services provided, credit institutions are led to use new technologies known as cloud computing. These solutions allow a gain in flexibility and in costs of deployment of the services related to the information systems.
The use of these services may expose credit institutions to specific risks requiring rigorous management within the framework of an appropriate policy.
In this context, and to support credit institutions in implementing this approach, Bank Al-Maghrib has finalized a draft directive which sets the minimum rules for outsourcing to the cloud by credit institutions.
This project, adopted in 2022, was the subject of a consultation process with the General Directorate for Information Systems Security (DGSSI) and the National Commission for the Control of Personal Data Protection (CNDP).
• Prevention and management of corruption risks
As part of its contribution to the national dynamic engaged in the fight against corruption, Bank Al-Maghrib has finalized a draft directive on the prevention and management by credit institutions of corruption risks.
This draft text requires credit institutions and similar bodies to ensure appropriate management of the risks they incur through the exposure of their activities and their staff to the phenomenon of corruption.
It also encourages the largest establishments to certify their corruption risk management system according to recognized international standards in this area.
• Closing account
As part of the operational application of the provisions of article 503 of law n°15-95 forming the Commercial Code as supplemented and amended, Bank Al-Maghrib has drawn up a draft directive relating to the procedures for closing an account. This text, adopted in 2022, aims to streamline the process of closing sight accounts, which continues to be a significant source of customer complaints. The main contributions of this project relate to:
• the systematization of the issue, by the institution concerned, of an acknowledgment of receipt to the customer requesting the closure of the account;
• the establishment of a maximum period of one month to respond to the client in the context of a request to close an account;
• issuance of a closure certificate to the client as soon as the account is effectively closed, or notification of the reasons for non-closure;
• the implementation of permanent and periodic checks on this process in order to detect any malfunctions and remedy them;
• Upgrading the banks’ information systems for monitoring and handling accounts eligible for account closure. Banks have a period of time to prepare their information systems before the entry into force of the text during 2022.
• Modalities for informing loan applicants
In 2021, the Bank prepared a draft directive setting out the procedures for informing loan applicants during the process of examining their application. This text introduces obligations incumbent on credit institutions in terms of information to be provided to companies:
• When applying for credit, namely the types of credit likely to be suitable for them and the mechanisms to which they are eligible (guarantee products, public support programs);
• According to the follow-up given to their credit applications, a copy of the draft contract in the event of agreement for the granting of credit and the reasons for rejection in the event of refusal.
In addition, the credit institution must keep a register of the credit applications that have been refused and put in place an organization and appropriate procedures to set and internally monitor the deadlines for processing applications for loans adapted to each type of financing.
Banks have a preparation period before the entry into force of the current text in 2023
• Consideration of the gender aspect
To further boost the actions of the banking sector in favor of the reduction of gender inequalities in line with the objectives of sustainable development, Bank Al-Maghrib has prepared a draft recommendation which sets out the provisions to be observed by credit institutions for the promotion of professional gender equality and economic empowerment of women in the conduct of their activities.
This text adopted in 2022 is in line with the principle of gender equality, enshrined in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, as ratified by Morocco in 2015. It requires credit institutions to promote professional gender equality among their employees and to work for the respect of women’s rights and their empowerment in the context of the overall conduct of their activities.
It requires credit institutions to promote professional gender equality among their employees and to work for the respect of women’s rights and their empowerment within the framework of the overall conduct of their activities.
In this regard, reporting institutions are called upon in particular to define strategic orientations in terms of taking the gender aspect into account, to integrate the gender dimension into their financing and investment strategy, and to design products and banking services adapted to the specific needs of women, particularly women entrepreneurs, based on dedicated refinancing mechanisms such as “Gender Bonds”. Finally, the recommendation requires credit institutions to put in place relevant indicators for measuring and monitoring gender equality, to publish their achievements in this area and to submit regulatory reporting to Bank Al- Maghrib on this subject.
• Law on crowdfunding
In 2021, the Central Bank actively contributed, alongside the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the AMMC and the General Secretariat of the Government, to the work of finalizing Law No. 15.18 relating to collaborative financing published in the BO , dated March 8, 2021.
During the same year, Bank Al-Maghrib finalized the texts of application of the aforementioned law and which relate in particular to the standard file of approval for the creation of a company of collaborative financing carrying out operations of category ” loan” and/or of the “donation” category, the operating conditions of companies and collaborative financing platforms, the obligations in terms of information vis-à-vis the contributors to the collaborative financing project and the terms and conditions of completion of loan category operations.
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