Banking In Egypt

A knowledge of the banking system in Egypt will assist you in your research. Below is general information regarding the current state of the banking system in Egypt.

The banking system comprises 57 state owned commercial banks. This includes 28 commercial banks, four of which are state-owned, 26 investment banks (11 joint venture banks and 15 branches of foreign banks), and three specialized banks. Although private and joint venture banks are growing, many remain relatively small with few branch networks.

Egypt’s banking system has undergone major reforms since the 1990s and today we are faced with a liberalized and modernized system which is supervised and regulated according to internationally accepted standards.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has improved the Egyptian banking systems in the following ways:

  1. Introduction of laws giving more independence to the CBE, and an electronic signature law
  2. Regulation of connected and related party lending
  3. Management reforms of the four public sector banks, making clear the responsibilities of managers and boards of directors
  4. Development of an automated credit risk information system (CRIS), from which participants would be able to gain online access to clients' credit profiles.

However, Egyptian banks are still behind other Western banks in supplying a good range of mortgage products to their clients. Although this is soon to change, the mortgage market is underdeveloped in Egypt and as yet foreigners cannot yet obtain a mortgage for a property in Egypt. In the near future, a new mortgage law will enable purchasers to take out property loans. This will open up the market considerably and create a storm of development and real estate activity in the near future.

Currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound. 100 piastres equal one Egyptian pound (£E). Notes range from 25 pieastres up to a 1,000 pound notes. The most commonly found notes will be 1,5,10, 20 and 50 Egyptian pound notes, while coins are rarely used as their worth is so small.

Bank opening times are 8.30am to 2pm daily, closed Fridays, Saturdays and most holidays.

You will also be able to change money easily at big hotels and cruise boats. You will receive an official receipt when exchanging money and this should be kept for possible inspection. Cash point machines are also available where you can withdraw cash.

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