The Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) has spent approximately EGP 1bn in three years on developing slums, according to FEB President Hisham Ezz El Arab.
Ezz El Arab said that despite the difficult conditions that Egypt has experienced over the past three years, banking support for social development did not stop.
The allocations set aside by banks and collected by FEB from the beginning of 2014 through now amount to EGP 300m, and the funds are set to be spent on developing slums through the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces (EAAF) under the supervision of businessman Hussein Sabour.
According to Ezz El Arab, the banks decided to donate 2% of profits for social development in 2012.
He stated that European banks usually donate no more than 1.5% of profits for social development.
Ezz El Arab explained that Egyptian banks are able to work and give back while also carrying out their primary function of financing, explaining that “the banks have played a major role in collecting funds for Suez Canal Certificates over eight days”.
The Egyptian government has offered Suez Canal certificates for individuals and institutions through four Egyptian banks. EGP 64bn has been collected over eight days with EGP 27bn originating outside the banking system, EGP 32bn within it, and EGP 5bn from borrowing for the certificates.
Dalia Abdel Qader, President of the Social Development Committee at the FEB, said: “Established in 1936, FEB is one of the oldest banking federations in the world.”
She said that over the past three years, slum areas in provinces in Upper Egypt, Delta, Cairo and Alexandria have been developed.
Abdel Qader said: “There is a theory that the banks are currently operating with and that is that the wealth is at the bottom.”
She explained that the role of banks is not limited to providing financial support, but extends to supervising and following-up on continuous growth.
According to Ezz El Arab, a role for banks in social development is very important, evidenced recently by donations made to the “Tahya Masr” (Long Live Egypt) Fund established by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
He further said all banks, both Egyptian and foreign, donated funds ranging between EGP 10-20m.