Banks in local market move to support irregular employment

Hossam Mounir
11 Min Read

Banks operating in the Egyptian market are throwing their support to irregular workers nationwide, who have been negatively affected by the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. 

The Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) has collaborated with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to launch an initiative in support of those affected by the pandemic. The initiative is particularly aimed at irregular and daily workers who have been most affected by the fallout from the virus’ spread.

Under this initiative, banks made donations according to each one’s profits in 2019. Banks that achieved profits of EGP 5bn or more donated EGP 80m. Banks that made profits from EGP 3bn to EGP 5bn donated EGP 40m. Banks that achieved profits between EGP 1bn to EGP 3bn donated EGP 20m, while banks with profits of less than EGP 1bn donated EGP 10m, according to Mohamed El-Etreby, Banque Misr and FEB Chairperson.

El-Etreby said the collected money will be disbursed to irregular workers over three months, from April to June. He added that an account at Banque Misr, entitled “H/Emergency and Crises no. 2030” will be dedicated to managing these donations. The move to provide financial aid comes in line with the FEB’s continuing efforts in the field of social responsibility. He added that this comes in light of the current harsh conditions facing the state due to the coronavirus, and its repercussions on the economy.

According to El-Etreby, this was achieved through communicating with state agencies, the CBE, and Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said.

El-Said is also head of the Technical Secretariat of the National Committee, responsible for coordinating and integrating the efforts and initiatives undertaken by financial institutions, companies, businessmen and civil work institutions.

El-Etreby said a letter was sent to all bank heads in Egypt in support of the current conditions, which will help workers affected by the ongoing conditions.

Having such input from different institutions aims at maximising the benefit of these efforts and ensuring that the assistance provided reaches those who deserve it.

The FEB Chairperson called upon banks to contribute to the intiative to support the Covid-19-affected families, stressing that this donation is optional.

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has donated EGP 80m of its profits to the initiative, stressing the importance of integrating efforts by banks to support Egyptian citizens through these hard times.

The NBE’s contributions supporting irregular workers followed its cooperation with the Misr El Kheir Foundation to donate food packages to daily workers.

The bank has also coordinated with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to support university hospitals and their doctors and nursing staffs nationwide.

The NBE also receives citizen donations through account (no. 111111) designated for this purpose, under the name “Supreme Council of University Hospitals”. The bank’s customers can donate or provide Zakat or charity funds by depositing them in this account at any of the bank’s branches or ATMs across the country.

Moreover, the NBE has decided to donate EGP 10m to support efforts in fighting the coronavirus, stressing its keenness to accelerate donations and improve university hospital.

To encourage donations from individual citizens and reduce crowding, the NBE is donating an amount similar to the value of citizen donations made through e-channels until 16 April.

Additionally, Banque du Caire will donate EGP 40m as part of the FEB-led initiative, to counter the economic consequences of the coronavirus.

The bank remains keen to play an effective role in community development. It has also been encouraged in response to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly forming a national committee to coordinate and integrate financial institutions’ efforts.

Tarek Fayed, Chairperson and CEO of Banque du Caire, stressed the importance of the maximising the initiative, whilst ensuring aid is delivered to those who deserve it.

“We always address any obstacle or challenge that may face our society. The Egyptian banking sector is always accustomed to launching and adopting many national initiatives that stem from the actual needs of the society, always proving the strength and solidarity of Egyptian banks as the backbone of the national economy,” Fayed added.

Banque du Caire has also launched and organised several similar initiatives in the face of the coronavirus as part of its social responsibility efforts.

The bank has also donated four ventilators to quarantine and intensive care rooms in hospitals that need them, in cooperation with the Egyptian Cure Bank. The donation comes as part of a “Tahady El Kheer” campaign to support the health sector as it faces repercussions of the new virus.

Fayed said there were more efforts to support social programmes to counter the coronavirus, and support the state and its institutions to help daily workers and curb the spread of the virus.

Mervat Sultan, head of the Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBE), said her bank will be taking part in the initiative of the FEB by donating EGP 20m.

Sultan said the donation would be an effort to face the effects of the coronavirus, and reduce the damage that may result from its spread. She added that the donation would be as an extension of the bank’s growing role in social responsibility.

Banks have entered a new form of competition, imposed by the ongoing coronavirus crisis over the past few days. They are now participating in the “Tahady El Kheer” (Challenge of Good) initiative launched by the Egyptian Food Bank, which provides the necessary support for daily workers affected by the pandemic.

The Commercial International Bank (CIB) announced its support for 10,000 families affected by the coronavius crisis. Amr El-Ganainy, head of the bank’s institutional sector, said he accepts Telecom Egypt’s challenge, and called on Yassin Mansour and Palm Hills Company to take part in the challenge.

Hussein Refaey, Chairperson and Managing Director of the Suez Canal Bank, also announced the bank’s participation in the challenge by supporting 7,500 daily workers affected by the coronavirus. This follows his receiving the invitation from Attijariwafa Bank – Egypt to participate in the initiative.

Refaey stressed the importance of the consolidated efforts by financial institutions to mitigate the negative effects resulting from the coronavirus.

He pointed out that the bank’s participation in this initiative reflects its effort towards adding a social element in its policies and procedures.

Hisham Al-Safa, Managing Director of Attijariwafa Bank – Egypt, announced through the bank’s official Facebook page that they will participate in Tahady El Kheer. As part of this, it will subsidise 7,500 daily workers, in cooperation with the Egyptian Food Bank. To pass the challenge forward, Al-Safa announced challenging the Suez Canal Bank to join the initiative.

Al-Safa said the bank has a multi-level role to play in the current conditions, namely supporting social segments affected by the spread of the coronavirus.

This also comes as part of Attijariwafa Bank’s awareness of its social responsibility, and its constant desire to provide a helping hand to the neediest segments.

Alexbank branch in EgyptFurthermore, ALEXBANK announced that it would support 10,000 families for a month, after Nestle Egypt called upon the company to participate in the initiative.

Dante Campioni, ALEXBANK’s CEO and Managing Director, stressed his interest in participating in the initiative to face the crisis the world is going through and alleviate its impact on citizens.

Campione said, “I have been living in Egypt for five years, during which I learned the importance of participation, social solidarity, and social responsibility. Everyone should cooperate to face this crisis and participate in helping all those affected by it.”

ALEXBANK employees have also participated in Tahady El Kheer, to secure the food needs of 10,000 families. They have made their donations through an internal account in cooperation with the Egyptian Food Bank.

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) – Egypt has also partnered with several private institutions, most prominently the Misr El Kheir Foundation, in the campaign.

The NBK sponsored 5,000 families for a month. This comes in addition to a financial donation to Gezirat ElKhair, for daily workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis.

The bank also coordinated with Ahl Misr Foundation to provide urgent support and assistance to public hospitals with the necessary protective equipment in order to protect the healthcare workers from infections during their daily efforts to treat patients infected with the coronavirus. The bank purchased five ventilators for Qasr El Eyni Hospital, Abbasia Fever Hospital, and Imbaba Fever Hospital.

Khaled Al-Salawi, CEO and Managing Director of NBK – Egypt, stressed the bank’s commitment to support community safety and participate in the efforts to combat the pandemic. He added that the bank aimed, through financial donations and joining community initiatives, to enhance Egypt’s health sector, which faces significant challenges during this tough period.

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