Morocco: Bank Card holders increased to nearly 18 Mln in 2021

Morocco: Bank Card holders increased to nearly 18 Mln in 2021

The number of bank cards increased in Morocco by 4.1 pc in 2021, compared to the previous year, reaching 17.9 million, says Morocco’s Central Bank in its latest report, noting that 88 pc of these cards were used for cash withdrawal.

Over 5.4 million payment accounts were opened last year against 2.6 million transaction accounts activated in 2020, adds Bank Al-Maghrib report on banking supervision for the year 2021.

Furthermore, more than 1 million electronic accounts (m-Wallets) were opened last year. Nearly 99 pc of these accounts are held by individuals, while the rest belong to merchants.

The banking sector proved resilient and provided financing for economic agents, notably through public support measures in the form of government-guaranteed loans, says the report, noting growth in bank credit to the non-financial sector stood at 3 pc, driven by the financing of companies’ treasury needs.

At the end of 2021, the increase in nonperforming loans eased slightly, bringing the nonperforming loans ratio to 8.5 pc. At the same time, the Moroccan banks’ average solvency ratio came to 15.8 pc, compared with the 12 pc regulatory minimum, and their cumulative net income rose by 76.4 pc.

The participatory banking segment, while still young, has also shown resilience in terms of its activity, results, and asset quality. This ecosystem is expected to gain further momentum with the launch of Takaful insurance products.

In terms of regulation, Bank Al-Maghrib has adopted reforms as part of the ongoing transposition of the Basel III standards. The institution has also strived to strengthen the regulatory and operational framework to respond to the challenges brought by the Covid-19 crisis, particularly in matters of customer protection, digitalization and climate change.

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