Tunisia: Banque Zitouna Obtains Bct's Approval to Operate As Resident Payment Institution

Tunis/Tunisia — Banque Zitouna, specialised in Islamic finance, has obtained the approval of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) to carry out the activity of resident payment institution, according to the decision of the BCT approval commission n° 42 of November 24, 2021, published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Tunisia (JORT) (n°3 of January 7, 2022).

According to the said decision, Banque Zitouna must use the present approval within a maximum period of six months from the date of its notification.

According to Law n°2016-48 of 11 July 2016 relating to banks and financial institutions, payment services include payments, cash withdrawals, direct debits and payment operations in cash, by cheque, bill of exchange or postal orders issued or any other equivalent paper medium.

They also concern the transfer of funds and the performance of payment transactions by any means of remote communication, including electronic payment transactions.

According to Article 30 of Law n°2016-48 of 11 July 2016, the licensing commission shall decide on the application, either by a decision granting the applicant a licence in principle or by a reasoned refusal decision, within a maximum period of four months from the date of communication of all the required information and documents.

The approval in principle defines, in particular, the category of the establishment, the nature of the authorised operations, the initial capital, the identity of the reference shareholder and the main shareholders.

It also sets out the requirements and conditions necessary for the granting of final authorisation.

The applicant for approval must fulfil these conditions within a period not exceeding six months from the date of notification of the decision to grant approval in principle.

The approval commission shall issue the final approval on the basis of a report drawn up by the BCT, within two months from the receipt of a request from the applicant proving the fulfilment of all the required conditions.

Al Karama Holding finalised, on 22 February 2019, the sale of 69.15% of the capital of Banque Zitouna and 70% of the capital of Zitouna Takaful to MAJDA TUNISIA for 370 million dinars.

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