The Egyptian Gulf Bank (EGBank) conjoined more than 100,000 customers, quadrupled the size of its deposits, and tripled the number of its employees in two years, according to the CEO and managing director of the bank, Nidal Assar.
Assar emphasised that the bank aims to become one of the 10 largest banks operating in the Egyptian market by 2021. He pointed out that the assets at the bank increased from EGP 11bn—before the development process—to more than EGP 45bn currently.
He said that 70% of the bank’s loans portfolio are channelled to industrial and infrastructure projects. The bank is planning to inject EGP 1bn to finance microenterprises in the coming period, he added.
This came during the opening session of the “Economic Editor Certificate course” organised by the bank in cooperation with the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) and taking place under the participation of representatives from both sides.
According to Assar, EGBank opened 15 new branches so that at the end of 2016, the total number of branches reached 34. The bank targets to increase the number of its branches to 50 during the coming period.
Assar explained that the main reason behind these achievements is relying on young people’s ideas and abilities, as management and leading positions in the bank are occupied by young people, aged 30 to 40, while the age of branch managers ranges from 25 to 29 years.
The bank raised its staff number from 650 employees to roughly 1,700 employees, and 40% of the new employees are talented fresh graduates, according to Assar.
Assar revealed that the shareholders of the bank decided to add extra cash to the bank’s capital during the coming period, besides the decision of the general assembly of the bank to take EGP 300m from the profits to increase the capital.
Assar said that EGBank believes in the importance of education and development to keep pace with technology and the needs of young people. The bank’s priority was to teach a generation of young people and train them at the highest level to provide services and products that meet the needs of young people in Egypt. He noted that the bank targets to be the young people’s bank in Egypt in order to change the typical image young people have of banks.
Assar provided an example about what the bank provided support to KarmSolar—a company that was established by young people who tried to obtain funding from banks to expand the activity of their business, which turned out to be difficult. However, EGBank put trust in these entrepreneurs and provided them with the necessary funding until the company became one of the fastest growing companies in Egypt in the field of electrical energy production via solar cells.
Assar emphasised that the bank is interested in financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) initiative, and also interested in financing micro-enterprises.
The bank financed the micro-enterprises with EGP 500m through a specialised company for financing such projects. The size of these projects will reach EGP 1bn during Q1 2018, according to Assar.
In terms of the loans portfolio of the bank, he said that of 60-70% of that portfolio is provided to major industrial projects and infrastructure.
According to Al Khawaga, EGBank’s experience is worth studying, and Egypt needs ideological change. The bank’s experience presented an inspirational role model to youth who wish to achieve great accomplishments.
She added that the most important characteristic of that experience is the bank’s interest in educating young people inside Egypt and abroad. She also mentioned the banking leadership programme, which she supervised, helped the EBI to train 12,000 students in 12 public universities.