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Fostering payment systems as lever for financial inclusion and stability (Marouane El Abassi)

February 10, 2023

TAP)-The Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) has chosen as a slogan for its new strategic plan 2023-2025, 'To be a credible, resilient and innovative Central Bank, at the cutting edge of financial, inclusive and sustainable transformations' and has set, among other goals, the full compliance with the Basel standards and the IFRS standards in 2023, BCT Governor Marouane El Abassi said Thursday in Tunis.

Opening the proceedings of the 'Annual Days of the Club of Directors of Banks and Credit Institutions of Africa' on the theme: 'Which banking regulation for African economies?,' he specified that the issuing institution has also focused its short-term and medium-term orientations on the promotion of payment means and systems as a lever for financial inclusion and stability as well as for the anchoring of the CSR dimension in the banking system's regulation, governance and practices.

The aim is also to consolidate its role as a facilitator and leading player in the support of technological and financial innovations.

The BCT has already shown the way through the launch of several initiatives in terms of digital transformation such as the implementation of a 'regulatory sandbox,' which helps listen to fintechs and support them in their innovation process.

The BCT is currently preparing to launch the 'Sandbox Express,' whose goals are to give banks intending to market digital solutions the opportunity to do so in a fast-track mode adapted to 'compliant' solutions, and to help the BCT ensure the robustness of these solutions before their launch.

Likewise, the BCT is keen to implement an Open Banking policy, in order to foster the emergence of new and more attractive use cases that would benefit all stakeholders in the financial services value chain.

Like everywhere else in the world, we have just lived through three years of an unusually deep and multifaceted health crisis that has hit hard on African economies.

The banking institutions have not been spared the fallout of the crisis, which has not only compelled them to meet new needs and strong demands for support to the economy, but has also dictated a profound and radical change in their strategies and operating methods.

While it is true that improving the regulatory framework for the banking sector has enabled banks around the world, including African banks, to show resilience, flexibility and responsiveness to the crisis, African regulators are currently being called upon to manage new issues and challenges (conflict in Ukraine, inflationary pressures, financial inclusion, digital revolution, climate change).

All of these issues require a paradigm shift, not only for financial institutions, but also for African banking regulators, with a gradual break with the 'regalian' approach to banking regulation, in favour of an inclusive resilience.

The regulatory authorities are therefore called to play the role of propeller and facilitator in order to anchor the economic and social dimension in the governance of banks.

The Central Bank of Tunisia has always endeavoured to consolidate the banking system with the ultimate goal of creating a more solid banking sector that serves sustainable development.


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