Law Governing Mutual or Cooperative Savings and Credit Institutions (PARMEC Law)
(enacted in 1993)
The Law Governing Mutual or Cooperative Savings and Credit Institutions (PARMEC Law) of 1993 (Projet de Loi Portant Reglementation des Institutions Mutalistes ou Cooperatives D’empargne et de Credit) was enacted by the Council of Ministers of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) to provide regulations for mutual or cooperative savings and credit institutions. While the respective Ministries of Finance are responsible for external control and supervision, they can delegate this authority to Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) under the PARMEC law. Due to the low capacity of the Ministries of Finance, there has been increased direct supervision of microfinance institutions (MFIs) by BCEAO.
The PARMEC law addresses both internal self-regulation and supervision of MFIs and external regulation and supervision. The law facilitates the creation of internal supervisory organs, which assume the roles of regulation and supervision within the institution and adhere to reporting requirements set under the law. Additionally, the PARMEC law addresses the supervisory and regulatory powers of the respective Ministries of Finance. Cellules, a special microfinance unit, were created in each respective member state to coordinate, regulate and supervise MFIs.
DISCLAIMER: Due to the fact that an official English translation was unavailable for this law, information from this summary has been taken from secondary sources and unofficial translations and not from review of the actual legal text.