As part of the bank’s expansion plans, Mashreq Bank plans to increase staff amongst other initiatives to amplify the bank’s presence in Egypt. Daily News Egypt interviewed head of Retail Banking of Mashreq Bank in Egypt, Pankaj Kundra, to know more about the sector
What are Mashreq’s major strategies for expanding in the Egyptian banking market during 2015?
The retail bank plans to launch many new initiatives in 2015. We plan to enhance our services by launching new products to serve both retail as well as SME customers. Some of the services include a market defining credit card, consolidate statements, enhancing our Mashreq Gold proposition, speedy servicing for SME transactions, etc. We also plan to enhance our brand equity through online and digital channel marketing strategy.
Does Mashreq Bank play a role in bringing new UAE investment to the local market?
Mashreq is committed to the Egyptian market. Our retail business plans to increase the number of staff by 30% in 2015. The Bank also plans to bring to Egypt market state-of-the-art technology to serve our customers better. This includes the latest CRM platform, interactive platforms/screens in branches, personalised IVR launch, etc. Our aim is to enhance the customer experience.
How does the Head Office perceive the Egyptian Market in the long term?
Our CEO is very bullish regarding the Egypt market. Our head office and local Egypt office are fully aligned to ensure that we have in place the same high level of service standards to our customers across all segments. Our investment in people, technology, products, and marketing is a clear reflection of our long terms plans to continue growing in Egypt.
What is the bank’s plan to enhance its geographical presence?
We are currently serving the two largest cities in Egypt; Cairo and Alexandria. We intend to strengthen our overall offering to the affluent segment and SME segment, the two largest segments that we serve in these two large cities. There is no immediate plan to expand further in to other cities but we are studying all the possibilities.
Did you ask the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) for a licence to open Mini Branches?
Yes, we did apply for it, and have secured the CBE’s approval for the same.
Are you planning to launch any new products to fund individuals?
We have a full bouquet of products and services being offered to our target market. We continue to strive to improve our product offerings, by launching new products as we have demonstrated in 2014 with the launch of the Business Current Account and the Retail Current Account. These accounts have generated a lot of interest amongst customers, who wish to gain high interest. These new accounts come with the best interest rates being offered to our customers. We also saw an amazing response to our ‘Balance Transfer Offering’ on Credit Cards, in which the customers can enjoy 0% interest for 6 months if they transfer their outstanding balances on their existing credit cards. These all are positive feedback to our product and it encourages us to continue offering innovative financial solutions.
What is the growth rate in Mashreq Egypt Retail Bank’s profitability during 2014? And what is the plan for the growth rate during the present year?
2014 was a historic year and a defining moment for Mashreq Egypt Retail business, as we posted 6% growth in revenues through increasing the portfolio of the advances and deposits by 57% and 30%, respectively. The Retail Banking business in Egypt is expecting a further increase in revenues by 80% in 2015.