The Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) has announced the provision of new facilities to the beneficiaries of “Bab Rizq” microfinance programme, as part of the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) initiative to promote financial inclusion for farmers, on the occasion of Egyptian Farmer’s Day.
In this context, the bank will waive the first repayment instalment with a maximum of EGP 500 for individuals wishing to obtain microfinance on 10-30 September.
Bab Rizq is one of the most important microfinance programmes at ABE which targets women and small traders and craftsmen in Egyptian villages. It also targets low-income groups to empower them economically.
Bab Rizq provides up to EGP 10,000 finance with a low annual reducing interest, without administrative expenses.
ABE gives great attention to Farmer’s Day, since it is specialized in providing all financial and banking services to the agricultural sector.
ABE is participating in the state’s celebration of the Farmer’s Day and the initiative for financial inclusion for farmers launched by CBE on 1-15 September, to raise awareness of the importance of financial inclusion and to spread and publicize banking services.
The bank’s celebration includes launching a distinguished set of banking services and benefits for existing and new customers, including allowing new customers to open accounts for free without any administrative expenses or a minimum. It also allows customers to have Meeza cards issued.
ABE also organizes a number of awareness-raising events in all of the bank’s branches in cities and villages across the country, with a focus on villages.
These events aim to increase the financial awareness among residents of rural areas in Egypt, especially women and youth, to enable them to safely manage their money and savings, as well as benefit from the financing programs offered by the Bank to establish small, medium and micro enterprises. It also aims to encourage craftsmen and self-professionals to open accounts without a commercial register.
Alaa Farouk, Chairperson of ABE, stressed the importance of the banking sector’s celebration of the Farmer’s Day, with the state’s growing interest in developing the agricultural sector.
He pointed out that the celebration of financial inclusion aims to spread and enhance societal awareness of the importance of financial inclusion and financial and banking services to encourage the shift from the informal economy to the formal economy, represented in banks.
Farouk stressed that ABE is working in accordance with strategic plans and programs to implement the concept of financial inclusion, in an effort to become one of the largest banks in the banking sector in terms of achieving financial inclusion based on its capabilities as the largest bank with a network of branches across the country, targeting the rural population.
He added that the bank has a plan to expand the number of its branches from 1,200 to 2,000, by adding 800 new branches during the next five years. Most of them will be located in the villages of the Egyptian countryside, and will target farmers. Moreover, the bank is currently working on modernizing all its branches to make them look better in line with the new identity of the bank, in addition to updating the technological infrastructure of the branch itself and supporting it with the latest technologies.
ABE is currently witnessing great leaps in the number of new customers thanks to the development and modernization system seen in all sectors of the bank during the last period, whether in terms of improving the quality of banking services or by diversifying products and introducing new products.
In addition, the bank has completed installing more than 800 ATMs over the past three months, out of 1,150 new ATMs to be installed by the end of October 2021, with the support of CBE.
He indicated that the bank aims to increase the number of ATMs in all villages of the Republic to achieve financial inclusion and provide the best level of services to customers.