In a speech given on behalf of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor, Hisham Ramez, CBE Deputy Governor Gamal Negm said that banks in Egypt should meet the financial needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
This is especially necessary since the past period witnessed a great focus by banks on financing big companies, which needs to be shifted now in order to reach financial Inclusion.
Financial inclusion demands a developed banking sector, which is now present in Egypt, as banks are ready to create new tools and innovations, which is what they currently seek, Negm added.
He also said the CBE’s allowance for banks to establish small branches in different governorates eased access to new customers. Financial innovation demands stability to allow for financial inclusion, which results in financial sustainability, added Negm.
Ola El-Khawaga, director of research and awareness department at the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI), said knowledge is intellectual capital upon which we build to boost growth in the new money and banking sector. The EBI conference aims to shed light on tools for raising competitiveness in customer service through innovating new and unconventional tools.
“We are currently cooperating with all banking leaders, not only during the conference but in general, to focus on promoting innovation in retail fields and utilising modern technology in meeting the customers’ expectations and demands,” said El-Khawaga.
Mona El-Baradei, Executive Director of EBI, said that the importance of innovation has increased with market openness and heightened competition. This has occurred in line with innovation and developing new tools to meet customers’ needs which maintains the survival of all institutions and boosts economic growth.
Innovation promotes economic growth and production increase, and since innovation goes through the stages of invention and innovation, publication and application. A state’s competitiveness depends on its ability to innovate, El-Baradei added.
She believes financial innovation results in increasing economic efficiency through improving the financial sector’s functions and managing the needs of the various economic activities. The banking sector witnessed a fundamental shift as a result of the change in customers’ needs, which affected the global financial system.
Banks are required to innovate to break into new markets with greater diversity of services through activation of modern tools, internal control, legislation and qualified human cadres, El-Baradei said.
This came during the seventh annual conference of the EBI under the title of “Financial Innovation in the Banking Sector”.
El-Baradei said the EBI’s activities are no longer limited to implementation of courses only, but extended to provide a variety of services between education, culture and research.
A coordination committee was formed to develop a national financial education strategy in cooperation with the CBE. The committee includes all the active parties for the advancement of societal education and financial inclusion, said El-Baradei. She also revealed the EBI’s founding of a centre for evaluation and development that begins offering its services in the first quarter of this year.
El-Baradei also mentioned that the EBI contributed to offering over 24,000 training opportunities to bank sector employees within the EBI’s efforts to qualify banking cadres able to promote the Egyptian economy.