The Banking Industry in Egypt
Egypt’s banks were able to weather the pandemic as they entered the crisis relatively well-capitalised, and the number of non-performing loans remains low. The pandemic also helped fuel significant growth in digital banking in a country where only about a third of the population is banked. Experts say a new banking act, which was passed in 2020 and which increased capital requirements, could promote mergers and acquisitions, while helping to boost financial inclusion. While bank profits have been affected by the slowdown in private lending, experts are hopeful that lending will pick up again, driven by the current record low interest rates.
A critical challenge is financial inclusion, as about two thirds of Egyptians are unbanked. Banks are moving quickly to increase digital channels – by rolling out more ATMs and point of sale machines, while partnering with fintech companies to improve mobile wallet and payment options for clients. Another challenge is that the banking sector remains under-leveraged with a low loans-to-deposits ratio.
Key growth drivers include the development of several mega projects and recent economic reforms, such as the liberalisation of the foreign exchange system, a monetary policy aimed at containing inflation and cutting expenditure through eliminating fuel and energy subsidies. The pandemic fuelled significant growth in digital banking, with the value of electronic transactions growing exponentially.
This report on the Egyptian banking industry covers deposit-taking institutions, as well as central banking. It includes information on the country and legislation and regulations relevant to the banking industry, and details of the major players and their performance and development, financial inclusion, digital banking and fintech, microfinance, Islamic banking and the competitive environment. There are profiles of 16 companies including state-owned banks such as the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr and Banque du Caire, major private banks including Commercial International Bank and QNB Alahli and international banks in Egypt such as HSBC and Credit Agricole Egypt.