Bank Al-Maghrib and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) co-organized a regional workshop entitled "Facilitating Implementation of IFSB Standards" in Rabat. The workshop focused on 3 standards for participatory banking: IFSB-15 "Revised Capital Adequacy Standard" on Prudential Capital and Solvency Standards, IFSB-16 "Revised Guidance on Key Elements in the Supervisory Process" on Supervision Standards, and GN-6 "Quantitative Measures for Liquidity Risk Management" on prudential liquidity standards. This event is part of the measures taken by Bank Al-Maghrib to finalize the regulatory framework governing participatory banking activities in Morocco.
Bank Al-Maghrib, Morocco’s central bank, has reportedly received several requests for approval from Islamic banks from the Gulf countries. Al Baraka Bank (Bahrain), the Kuwait Investment Bank and the National Bank of Qatar are among those banks that wish to settle in Morocco. Some of these institutions have already established agreements with local credit institutions like Bahraini bank Al Baraka Bank. Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) has, meanwhile, last year signed a strategic partnership in the field of Islamic finance with Guidance Financial Group (GFG), a subsidiary of Barwa Qatari sovereign wealth fund. The Moroccan banking group Attijariwafa Bank, however, has announced in late January that it has intended to develop its subsidiary dedicated to Islamic finance Dar Assafaa without an alliance with a foreign partner.
Une dizaine de demandes d’agrément ont été soumises à Bank Al-Maghrib par des institutions jugées leaders dans l’industrie de la finance islamique. Ces institutions viennent essentiellement d’Asie, plus particulièrement du Moyen-Orient. Une bonne partie de ces institutions ont l’intention de créer des joint-ventures avec des banques marocaines. Certaines se sont déjà engagées avec des accords, d’autres sont toujours en négociation. Le PDG d’Al Baraka Banking Group Adnan Ahmed Yousif avait lui aussi confirmé un projet de banque islamique au Maroc avec un partenaire local. Concernant Attijariwafa bank, le groupe est toujours sollicité par les leaders mondiaux de la finance islamique.
The issue of Islamic finance has taken centre stage in Morocco following the Justice and Development Party's (PJD) electoral triumph. The PJD has talked of promoting Islamic finance on a number of occasions.
Bank Al-Maghrib Governor Abdellatif Jouahri stated last month that Morocco was interested in Islamic finance and viewed the idea of creating Islamic banks as part of the new financial platform in Casablanca. The new banking law will include a chapter on finance to meet the demands of sharia law.
However, according to economist Slimi Noureddine, the political will to promote Islamic finance is lacking. He underlined the idea that Morocco should take the matter in hand to benefit from Arab investment, particularly from the Gulf states.