Protection of credit institutions customers
By virtue of the law No. 103-12 relating to credit institutions and similar bodies and the law No. 31-08 enacting consumer protection measures, Bank Al-Maghrib has been conferred the power to protect customers of credit institutions.
This power mainly covers issuing relevant regulatory standards and monitoring their implementation by credit institutions.
The regulatory requirements adopted thereby are related to:
- Transparency requirements with regard to the banking conditions and to informing customers of credit institutions.
- Requirements imposed on credit institutions when handling customer complaints;
- Banking mediation.
Bank Al-Maghrib is also in charge of processing the complaints submitted to it by the customers of credit institutions.
I. Transparency requirements with regard to the banking conditions and to informing customers of credit institutions.
In compliance with the provisions of the banking Law governing the relations between credit institutions and their customers, Bank Al-Maghrib has set the following:
- Rules governing terms and conditions applied by credit institutions to their operations, namely in relation to lending and deposits rates, commissions and the value date system.
- Conditions for establishing bank account statements and communicating summaries of applied commissions;
- Minimum clauses to be observed in demand accounts, time accounts and securities accounts.
Besides, during its on-site control operations, Bank Al-Maghrib ensures that banks comply with all the rules promulgated in terms of consumer protection, particularly those provided by the Law No. 31-08 enacting measures to protect consumers.
Bank Al-Maghrib also ensures that credit institutions comply with rules governing lending and deposits rates. In this regard, it monitors the compliance with the maximum conventional interest rates as well as the procedures for setting and disclosing the Overall Effective Rate.
As part of the continuous consolidation of credit institutions customers’ protection, Bank Al-Maghrib issued the following directives on November 4th, 2019:
- Directive No. 4/W/2019, on the terms and conditions for the issuance of securities withdrawals guaranteeing bank financing. This Directive mainly provides for the following:
- Systematizing the issuance of releases upon full repayment of the loan by the customer of the institution concerned;
- Setting the maximum period for issuing releases at 30 working days upon the full repayment of the loan by the customer of the institution concerned;
- Providing insightful information to the customer about deadlines of processing and delivering withdrawals;
- Directive No. 5/W/2019 on banking mobility setting the conditions and modalities that banks must observe to facilitate the transfer, from one bank to another, of accounts and back-to-back transactions.
This service is provided by banks, free of charge and with no conditions. These banks grant to their customers a banking mobility handbook designed to:
- Give a clear and precise idea on the methods of transfer of demand deposits accounts;
- Define the roles and responsibilities of the home bank, the host bank and the client, at each stage of the bank mobility process.
II. Protection of consumers of banking services
By virtue of the law No. 31-08 related to consumer protection, Bank Al-Maghrib is in charge of ensuring compliance of credit institutions with the provisions relating to the following requirements:
- Providing customers with appropriate and clear information on the products, goods or services acquired or used;
- The obligations to be met when granting consumer or real estate loan (advertising, loan preliminary offer, withdrawal or reflection periods etc.), during the loan lifetime and in case of early termination of the loan agreement.
III. Guarantee of bank deposits
Bank Al-Maghrib has set up a collective deposit guarantee fund to compensate depositors of member credit institutions. The compensation mechanism is initiated by Bank Al-Maghrib, once the institution becomes no longer able to recover the deposits or other reimbursable funds, for reasons related to its financial situation, and when there is no prospect that this restitution can take place in the near future.
Compensation of depositors shall be fixed up to a maximum amount per depositor and within the limit of the Fund's possibilities.
IV. Resolution of disputes between credit institutions and their customers
Within the framework of processing complaints, customers of credit institutions can avail themselves of the following four referrals:
- Referral to the relevant departments of the credit institution in question;
- Referral to the Moroccan Centre for Banking Mediation;
- Referral to Bank Al-Maghrib;
- Referral to the court.
The plaintiff is called upon to make use of these referrals in the above-mentioned order to optimize the processing of his/her complaint.
1. Credit institutions processing of their customers’ complaints
Credit institutions and similar bodies are required to set up an internal complaint processing system to ensure an efficient and transparent processing of the complaints made by their customers.
Within this framework, Bank Al-Maghrib calls upon credit institutions to set up an adapted organization whereby a central entity is entrusted with the task of processing and monitoring complaints, processing circuits are well defined, a dedicated information system is set up as well as procedures for identifying all complaints.
Credit institutions are also required to:
- Provide customers with regular information on their internal complaint processing systems in relation to:
- Interlocutors and reception channels;
- The overall processing of the complaints.
- Facilitate customers’ filing of their complaints through various physical and digital channels;
For each complaint, the credit institution is required to issue an acknowledgement of receipt. It shall, with ten working days, rule on the inadmissibility of a complaint by sending, if necessary, a reply to the plaintiff stating the reasons for this inadmissibility, specifying the possible routes of appeal.
The final answer on the processing of the complaints qualified as admissible, must be provided within a period not exceeding forty working days. The plaintiff must be informed by these deadlines. In case the deadline is not respected due to particular circumstances, the institution must keep the customer informed and notify him/her with the new deadline for processing his/her complaint.
2. Processing within the framework of banking mediation
Created in March 2014, the Moroccan Centre for Banking Mediation is entrusted with settling, amicably, actual or eventual disputes between customers and credit institutions.
This mediation system does not replace the processing by credit institutions of their customers' complaints but only intervenes after all internal means are exhausted. Thus, any customer who has not received a response from his/her credit institution within 40 working days, or who is not satisfied with the response received, may refer the matter to the mediator by any means made available to him/her by the Centre. This system is voluntary and free of charge.
The Moroccan Centre for Banking Mediation intervenes in all matters related to banking or financing operations.
Any dispute that has already been the subject of a judicial or arbitration decision is excluded from the scope of mediation.
The credit institution customer can contact the Moroccan Centre for Banking Mediation by sending a regular or electronic mail, or by filing his/her complaint in the Centre’s headquarter, or in the headquarters of banks or of Bank Al-Maghrib. Information on the contact details of the centre can be found on its website: www.cmmb.ma.
The Moroccan Centre of Banking Mediation (CMMB) may also handle credit institution customer complaints which are transferred to it by Bank Al-Maghrib. This transfer is carried out in accordance with a procedure established between the two institutions specifying the terms and conditions of processing.
Under this procedure, the CMMB is responsible for notifying complainants of the handling of their claims and periodically informs Bank Al-Maghrib of their outcome. Complainants can always bring their case to Bank Al-Maghrib as a last resort if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the mediation procedure.
3. Bank Al-Maghrib Processing of the complaints made by credit institutions' customers
Persons who are dissatisfied with the answers provided by their credit institution or the mediator can refer to Bank Al-Maghrib. This latter will determine the appropriate follow-up to their requests.
To this end, Bank Al-Maghrib may carry out on-site control operations or ask the concerned institution to provide it, within the time limits set by Bank Al-Maghrib, with all the documents and information it deems necessary for the examination of these requests.
The plaintiff must address to Bank Al-Maghrib a written complaint in addition to any document justifying the allegations claimed.
It should be specified that Bank Al-Maghrib can transfer the complaints received to the Moroccan Centre for Banking Mediation, if the latter has not been previously referred to, and when the dispute falls within its scope of intervention.
To file the complaint, the plaintiff can choose one of the following referral channels:
- Filing through the web site of Bank Al-Maghrib;
- Filing at Bank Al-Maghrib’s branches and agencies throughout the Kingdom;
- Via mail to the Banking Supervision Department at: Tour Casablanca Finance City, 24ème étage, lot 57, quartier Casa-Anfa Hay Hassani.
Besides, for any assistance (orientation, measures, outcome of the complaint), the plaintiff may contact the Customer Protection office by calling the following numbers: 05 22 47 81 00 or 05 22 47 80 00.
4. Referral to judicial authorities
In case all dispute resolution avenues fail, and the customer is not satisfied with the outcome of one or all of the referrals, s/he may seek competent judicial authorities to assert his/her rights.
V. Disclosure of bank account information
As part of the assistance brought to the legal successors of the deceased persons, Bank Al-Maghrib can be approached for account searching requests.
The heirs can contact Bank Al-Maghrib to request an inventory of the accounts opened in the name of their deceased, if applicable, and, the details of any securities portfolio managed by the bank.
The application can be filed via:
- Bank Al-Maghrib’s website
- Bank Al-Maghrib’s branches and agencies throughout the kingdom.
- Mail to the Network and On-site Presence Department to: 277 Avenue Mohamed V – 10000 RABAT.