Modernisation of banking legislation in Morocco

27 May 2016

Hatim Boukhris

The financial and economic infrastructure in Morocco is experiencing constant development and represents an example of international integration in commercial markets, especially in its immediate geographical surroundings.

Particularly diversified, thanks to the existence of credit institutions, financing, leasing, mortgage, factoring, money transfer, warranty companies and microfinaning associations, the financial environment is now enhanced by the innovation introduced by law No. 103.12 on credit institutions and similar bodies, commonly known as "Banking law"

Published in the Official Bulletin of March 5, 2015 No. 6328 in its Arabic version, No. 6340 in the French version, and effective from 22 June 2015, the Banking law introduced a batch of innovations.

With its impetus of accompanying technical and technological development, the new banking law broadens the scope of means of payment to include electronic currency, which is defined as "any monetary value representing a claim on the issuer being stored on an electronic device, in consideration for the receipt of funds of an amount value that is not less than the monetary value issued and accepted as means of payment by third parties other than the issuer of the electronic currency”.

The law creates a new category of organizations treated as equivalent to credit institutions designated by the term "payment institutions" and defined as "those that offer one or more payment services and may also, in compliance with the laws and regulations in effect, provide foreign exchange operations ".

Also, due to the international popularity of Islamic banking, the new legislation introduced a legislative framework for participatory banking and new banking foundations based on the principles of sharing gains and losses, appealing exclusively to the Higher Council of Ulema to give its compliance notice. The new legislation also established the regulatory framework for the creation, operation and activities of participatory banks and defines the points concerning the scope of deposits and products marketed by the participatory banks.

Undoubtedly prompted by the difficulties currently experienced in the financial market, the legislature confirmed the establishment of a framework for macro-prudential supervision and systemic crisis management. The mission is assigned to a Coordinating Committee. The Wali of Al Maghrib Bank will chair this Committee and the regulators of the banking system, capital markets and insurance sector and the Ministry of Economy and Finance will be represented. The Committee’s tasks include analysis of the financial sector situation and assessment of systemic risk. Moreover, the new Banking Law provides for the introduction of new rules of governance for the banking sector, resolution of problems of credit institutions, as well as new rules on the management of the deposit guarantee system.

The new Banking law aims to harmonize banking law with other legislation through alignment with the law on consumer protection, the law against money laundering, antitrust legislation, and the law relating to the protection of personal data. It also emphasizes the establishment of a close collaboration between Al Maghrib Bank and the Antitrust Authority when advising on M&A relating to credit institutions or similar bodies.

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