Cairo – November 9, 2023: Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) expects Egyptian operations to begin by the end of the year, explained Minister of Planning and Economic Development (MPED) Hala El-Said after her meeting with the bank’s representatives on Wednesday.
Standard Chartered’s inaugural Egyptian branch was originally announced to be launched in September 2022 after it received the green light from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in January 2022 and was registered on the list of licensed banks a few months later in May.
This made it the first foreign bank to receive a license to operate in Egypt after the issuance of the new Banking Law in September 2020.
The British multinational bank was awarded its full banking license from the CBE in November 2022, which qualified it to provide services to sovereign and government-related bodies, corporate entities, financial institutions, and multinationals operating in Egypt.
MPED minister El-Said met with the bank’s executive team on Wednesday, reviewing several economic development files such as the National Program for Economic Reforms.
The minister shed light on the government’s support for the private sector, particularly the banking sector, adding that the reform program aims to enhance the stability and resilience of the local economy.
On Wednesday, the cabinet’s media center revealed that Egypt’s current reform program include numerous macroeconomic and sectoral policies, with a total of around 171 measures aimed at supporting the private sector, with 144 measures already implemented.
Newly appointed StanChart CEO, Mohammed Gad, praised the long-standing relationship between the bank and the government during his meeting with El-Said.
He explained that the decision to open a branch in Egypt reflects Standard Chartered Bank’s confidence in the Egyptian economy, pointing out that the country has one of the largest economies in the Middle East.
Standard Chartered is keen to deliver all of its services through its branch in Egypt to support the Egyptian commercial private sector and contribute to the government’s plans, as well as to diversify its client portfolio across all economic sectors, he added.
The British bank is currently preparing to exit from seven markets, including Lebanon and Jordan, as it aims to narrow its focus on bigger and faster-growing markets like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, according to a report by Reuters.