Egypt central bank plans launch new unit for financial inclusion

Egypt’s central bank is planning to establish a new unit designated to promote the financial inclusion process to ensure the soundness of the banking system, senior sources in the CBE told Amwal Al Ghad on Wednesday.

CBE has recognized that financial inclusion can play a critical role in improving economic growth, reducing extreme poverty, boosting shared prosperity, and reducing socio-economic inequalities in the society.

The Central Bank of Egypt is leading the country’s financial inclusion policy process. It joined the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) in mid-2013 and the network’s Working Groups on Data and on financial inclusion strategies ever since.

The CBE established the national steering committee on financial education, which is led by the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) – the central bank’s training arm – to develop the National Strategy for Financial Literacy.

In an effort to expand financial inclusion, the CBE has developed regulations to increase banks’ small and medium-sized business loan portfolios to 20 percent by 2020 and issued new regulations for mobile payments at end-2016 in view of allowing cross-border remittances from mobile wallets.

In February, the National Payment Council has been established in Egypt in order to promote digital payments and reduce the share of informal financial transactions. Since the launch of mobile payment services in Egypt in 2013, 6.8 million subscribers for mobile payment accounts have registered.