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Bank Assafa Goes Live with iMAL to Drive Operational Efficiency

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Path Solutions, the global Islamic banking software provider, today announced that Bank Assafa has gone live with the latest version of iMAL in its headquarters in Casablanca as part of its strategy to bring cutting-edge Islamic banking services to its new customer base.

Bank Assafa is a wholly owned subsidiary of Attijariwafa Bank in Morocco, specialising in participative finance. Founded in July 2017, the bank offers a range of ethical banking products, which are compliant with the Higher Council of Ulema guidelines. Among all Islamic banks in Morocco, Bank Assafa has the widest network in the country with 40 branches in 20 cities.

With the rollout of the AAOIFI-certified iMAL core banking platform, Bank Assafa will be empowered to not only realize its growth strategy in a cost effective way, but also to offer a complete array of Sharia-compliant products and services to its corporate and retail customers, and to continue working towards the bank’s vision to become the country’s leading Islamic bank.

Youssef Baghdadi, General Manager of Bank Assafa, said, “The project implementation has delivered a multi-award winning Islamic core banking platform that includes a comprehensive model bank enabling us to be fully compliant with local regulations. The market potential here is immense and we believe that the flexibility and scalability provided by the system will support Bank Assafa in its ambitious strategy to take innovative products and differentiated services to market rapidly”.

Today, Bank Assafa is the largest French user of iMAL. This latest successful implementation combined with a local support presence and commitment to the region will contribute to increasing the footprint of Path Solutions in Morocco and North Africa by extending participative finance services to a broader community of clients.

Mohammed Kateeb, Group Chairman & CEO, Path Solutions, commented, “Morocco is embracing inclusive Islamic finance and Bank Assafa will definitely be a key contributor in expanding this segment in the country and in West Africa as a region; therefore, we are delighted to be their strategic technology partner.

As technology becomes the strategic driver in the financial industry, we believe that our AAOIFI-certified core banking platform, which is built on the latest advancements in technology, will contribute tremendously to the innovation while speeding up time to market for interest-free products and services to satisfy the Moroccan customers”.

As part of the project scope, the following interfaces have been implemented onsite; Cheque and Bill Clearing interfaces with PROCHECK and GSIMT, HR interface, UTRF, Credit Bureau, CCB, DGI, CNSS, PPR, Incident Payment, Security Document (Cheque Printing), Compliance (Siron), and Office des Changes.

Furthermore, Path Solutions’ project team has ensured a successful transition of legacy data into the new iMAL system including Customer Creation, Account Creation, Islamic Deals, Standing Orders, Voided Cheques, Certified and Banker’s Cheques, Standard and ATM Hold of Funds.


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FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

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President Muhammadu  Buhari has approved the establishment of an   Infrastructure Company (Infraco) to be driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

This is coming  on the heels of the foreign reserves’ slump to $36 billion following a cocktail of monetary policy interventions by the apex bank to cushion the scathing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made these disclosures in Abuja at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme: Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The role of Banking and Finance.

According to him, Infraco would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investment that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.

“This entity would also be able to raise funds from the capital markets and mobilise long term finance to address some of our infrastructure needs, while providing reasonable returns to investors. “We believe this well-structured fund can act as a catalyst for growth in the medium and the long run. The support of the banking community will be important in achieving this objective.

“A well-built infrastructure system, comprising hard infrastructure such as roads and ports, and soft infrastructure such as broadband penetration, can have a multiplier effect on growth by enabling the expansion of business activities in the country”, he explained.

On foreign reserves, Emefiele attributed its crash to the decline in foreign exchange earnings and subsequent adjustments in the value of the naira to the dollar.


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