The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is currently reviewing the results of the non-performing debt settlement initiative since June 2018 before taking any decision regarding extending it, Tarek Amer, governor of CBE, told Daily News Egypt.
“We are reviewing it again before taking any decisions on it,” Amer told Daily News Egypt on Wednesday.
The initiative was launched to settle the debts of companies of less than EGP 10m as well as the debts of individual customers, excluding credit accounts, until the end of December 2017.
The initiative includes the settlement of debts of 3,500 companies and 337,000 individuals in National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, Export Development Bank of Egypt, Egyptian Arab Land Bank, Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE), United Bank, and Industrial Development Bank.
The total accumulated unpaid interests by customers addressed by this initiative reached EGP 16.8bn, of which EGP 12bn for companies with balances of less than EGP 10m and EGP 4.8bn for individuals.
There have been several calls to extend this initiative, which is due to expire on 31 December 2018, to give defaulters a greater opportunity to repay their debts and benefit from the initiative.
Hussain Abdulrahman, General-Secretary of Egypt’s Farmer’s Union, called on the CBE to extend the initiative. He pointed out that the largest number of defaulters up to 110,000 people are customers in the ABE, mostly small farmers.
Chairperson of the ABE, El-Sayed El-Kosayer, said that the number of the initiative’s beneficiaries in his bank amounted to 5,762 people until 17 December, whose debts amounted EGP 443m, expecting this number to be doubled by the end of December.
According to the CBE, the launch of the initiative came out of its role in supporting economic development, aiming to settle troubled debts, and ease the burden on small customers.
According to the initiative’s results, the government banks covered by the initiative exempted defaulting customers from the accumulated unpaid interests amounting to EGP 16.8bn.
The banks and customers will waive all the current lawsuits in courts. They will also take guarantees from customers to ensure settling the debt, remove the customers’ names from the black lists of CBE and I-Score, and include the clients in a list named initiative client for three years from the date of repayment.