Central Bank of Egypt issues new rules for digital banks' licensing

Ahram Online , Wednesday 12 Jul 2023

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issued rules for licensing, registering, controlling, and supervising digital banks, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

Central Bank of Egypt. Ahram Gate.
Central Bank of Egypt. Ahram Gate.

The new licensing rules mandate that digital banks have a minimum issued and paid-up capital of EGP 2 billion ($64.6 million) to practice all banking activities except financing large-scale businesses.

The rules also allow digital banks to increase their capital to EGP 4 billion ($129.3 million) to offer financing services to large-scale businesses.

Moreover, the CBE's new rules stipulate that the largest shareholder in digital banks shall be a financial institution with a portfolio of relevant projects and activities and a stake of at least 30 percent of total capital.

The new rules further mandate digital banks to provide a detailed fiscal study that incorporates the clients they target and the products they offer, as well as their information technology plans and cybersecurity strategies.

Financial inclusion

In 2022, the CBE launched its financial inclusion strategy for 2022-2025 to promote financial inclusion in the country.

The CBE announced last month that financial inclusion rates improved between 2016 and 2022 by 147 percent.

The overall number of citizens who have accounts that enable them to conduct financial transactions – including bank accounts, Egypt Post accounts, mobile e-wallets, or prepaid cards – has now reached 42.3 million, which represents 64.8 percent of Egyptians above the age of 16 (65.4 million citizens), added the CBE.

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