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The WAEMU Automated Interbank Clearing System (SICA-UEMOA)
The WAEMU Automated Interbank Clearing System (SICA-UEMOA) is an automated tool for bulk exchanges and settlement of payment operations, in the form of transfers, cheques or commercial bills, between participating institutions at the national and regional levels.
SICA-UEMOA is made up of nine clearing systems: a national system for each of the WAMU member states and a regional clearing system.
SICA-UEMOA participants include the banks, the BCEAO, postal financial services and treasury departments.
SICA - UEMOA
Clearing processing and accounting are carried out only on the basis of digital deposit files representing transactions presented by the participants for clearing.
Risk management in SICA-UEMOA
The BCEAO does not act as a lender of last resort. Plans have been made for all of the participants in the financial market to set up a mutual guarantee fund that each participant can use after unsuccessfully exhausting all other means of provisioning their settlement accounts with a view to settling their clearing balance.
Furthermore, sanctions have been provided for in the event of default. These may include suspension or exclusion.
In addition, provisions have been made for the BCEAO to deal with claims and litigation. The archive rules defined in the convention call for archiving of all data by each participant.
Recent developments in SICA-UEMOA
Following the adoption, by the national standardization committees (Comités Nationaux de Normalisation - CNNs), of new formats for cheques and commercial bills (bills of exchange and promissory notes) in the West African Economic and Monetary Union in compliance with international standards, the BCEAO replaced the WAEMU Automated Interbank Clearing System (SICA-UEMOA) with a new version that takes account of the changes in the abovementioned payment instruments. These new standards have been approved by the WAEMU Commission and apply to all actors in all eight countries in WAEMU.
One of the principal innovations concerns a change in bank account identifiers (RIBs), with the introduction of the ISO country identification standard replacing the country identification letters previously used in the WAEMU zone.
This innovation was also reflected in the modification of the “bank” code of SICA-UEMOA participants.