The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has obliged banks working in the Egyptian market to establish independent administrations for financial inclusion. These administration would report to each bank’s chairperson or his deputy.
The CBE explained in a statement issued last Thursday that these administrations will be handling internal coordination between the departments and units of each bank on one hand, and with the CBE on the other hand when it comes to financial inclusion.
According to the CBE, this decision aims to eliminate the main obstacles hindering banking services and products from reaching all society segments.
The CBE ordered banks to complete the establishment of these administrations no later than mid-May. Until this time, each bank shall appoint an official to communicate with the CBE in terms of financial inclusion, and shall inform the CBE the names of those to take charge of the administrations.
The CBE specified the tasks of the administrations to have eight main axes. First, preparing a medium-term strategy (three to five years) to achieve financial inclusion in coordination with the concerned departments in the bank, provided that the strategy would be approved by the bank’s board of directors or its equivalent in foreign banks.
Second, preparing an annual work plan that includes geographical expansion and carrying out communication with the concerned departments in the bank regarding developing the existing products and working on meeting the needs of the financially excluded groups, especially women and young people.
Third, expanding the provision of financial services, especially electronic services, including mobile e-wallets and prepaid cards, and spreading financial culture, as well as sponsoring the relevant activities while supporting entrepreneurs and innovative projects.
According to CBE’s statement, the tasks of proposed financial inclusion administrations also include setting up a mechanism to follow the implementation of the bank’s projects that are related to financial inclusion, including following up the strategy and work plan and determining the issues about it to avoid them.
The tasks of the administration also include providing recommendations and proposals to the financial administration of financial inclusion at CBE and coordinate towards implementing financial inclusion activities.
Additionally, the financial inclusion administration would also determine the number of employees and scientific qualifications required in the workers of this administration, while ensuring they receive proper training, in the presence of a technological infrastructure that can handle everything related to the products and services of financial inclusion.