IMF loans suspended by FATF field visit in January

In just under a month, the Kingdom will receive experts from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). For Morocco, expectations are high regarding vsThis field visit is planned between 18 and 20 January 2023.

The latter is actually a mission to assess the measures implemented by Morocco as agreed during the October 2022 FATF plenary meeting, where the Kingdom had been kept under heightened surveillance (grey list) pending verifications, the effectiveness of their applications during this visit . by the group’s experts. Morocco also accordingly prepared for the field visit of FATF experts by finalizing in particular the legislative framework as well as other measures in accordance with international standards.

Indeed, Rabat had made a political commitment to rapidly reinforce the identified strategic deficiencies (fighting money laundering, financing terrorism and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, etc.) within the agreed deadlines. In this, the Kingdom insists on increased supervision and strengthening of the framework for compliance control with financial institutions, sharing of risk management results as well as evaluation and diversification of suspicious transaction reports.

The Kingdom has said that it has completed the implementation of its action plan, so it remains only for the FATF experts to check that the work continued in this spirit through their field visit and give their conclusion. If found to be favorable, the Kingdom would then be removed from the FATF’s gray list during the plenary session next February. Moreover, this move, the National Financial Intelligence Authority (ANRF), sees it in a good light when it declares, “in accordance with the regulatory procedures approved by the FATF, the decision to proceed with the on-site visit reflects the belief that Morocco has respected all the axes of the relevant action plan“.

This would predict a better future in that case and in light of the problems. Because, it must be clarified, appearing on the FATF’s gray list will no longer be synonymous with international recognition, which would allow discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to start on new lines of financing. Likewise “this should eventually lead to large transactions in the Kingdom by investors around the world», emphasized Abdellatif Jouahri, Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM). This would also prevent us from going back to square one of registration or “re-registration” on the EU’s gray list, with damaging consequences ranging from funding to the rejection of transfer operations at the discretion of a European anti-money laundering law. uncompromising money.

According to the statements of the bank director of Bank Al-Maghrib, during a press conference this week at the end of the last quarterly meeting of the current financial year, of the Bank’s board of directors, the signing of a new loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should take place next March. Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM) is just taking into account the arrival of the FATF delegation around mid-January 2023, before starting negotiations with the IMF to discuss the new loan. The last that Morocco had received from the IMF, dating back to 2012, amounted to 3 billion dollars with the possibility of renewal every two years, to be used in the end only in 2020 to address the consequences of the crisis of Corona- the pandemic.

The new loan that Morocco is seeking will not be for a fixed amount, as was the previous agreement, as the bank director of Bank Al-Maghrib had indicated that it would be flexible and provide immediate access to a large amount. is used to finance the treasury deficit, but will rather serve as a guarantee to borrow at a better interest rate with the aim of improving the rating of international institutions in this area. This is because donors are aware and compliance with FATF standards is a dominant paradigm for all forms of financing, whether they concern public or private institutions.

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