Egypt - The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) reported that banks operating in the Egyptian market provided EGP 4bn in indirect financing for the Decent Life initiative during the second half of 2022.

The financing represents loans granted through associations and micro-enterprises that obtained facilities from the banks participating in the initiative.

The Decent Life initiative was launched by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in January 2019, to improve the living conditions and quality of services for low-income groups nationwide, especially in rural areas.

According to the CBE’s financial stability report, banks provided EGP 1.6bn to small and medium enterprises, and EGP 2.1bn to micro-enterprises, as part of the initiative.

The CBE also revealed that banks opened 1.5 million accounts as part of financial inclusion activities in 2022, in addition to 337,000 electronic wallets and 1.6 million prepaid cards.

The CBE said that the financial inclusion rate increased from 27.4% in 2016 to 64.8% in 2022, thanks to the banks’ efforts to target various customer segments.

The CBE added that the number of prepaid cards increased by about 2.5 million, and the number of mobile phone wallets increased by about 5.2 million, in 2022. Moreover, there was an increase in the number of financial availability points by about 90,000.

The CBE noted that banks started opening accounts free of charge, and without a minimum limit, on Sunday, as part of the financial inclusion activities held on the occasion of Farmer’s Day, which will continue until mid-September.

The CBE instructed banks to offer suitable banking products for customers during these activities, and to issue prepaid cards or debit cards to customers and encourage them to use them for purchases.

The CBE also listed the financial inclusion events that banks celebrate every year, such as the Women’s Celebration, the Arab Financial Inclusion Day, the Youth Celebration, the Farmer’s Celebration, the Savings Celebration, and the People with Disabilities Celebration.

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