Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has an ambitious plan for growth in the Egyptian market, according to Ihab ElSewerky, the Managing Director and CEO of ADCB – Egypt
In an interview with Daily News Egypt, ElSewerky said the bank is keen on supporting national projects and financing the needs of its clients in all sectors.
He added that the bank has been promoting the digital transformation process since its launch in Egypt, and supporting digitization processes using the latest technological means.
The bank also launched the “Erada” package, the first of its kind that provides integrated services designed to support people with disabilities.
How do you see the economic situation in Egypt? What is your expectation for the country’s growth? And how could this affect the bank’s local business?
The achievements of ADCB – Egypt during its first year of operation reflect the solidity of the Egyptian economy and its ability to attract investors.
Undoubtedly, the Egyptian government has been able to prove its insight and the strength of its strategy, as the economic reform policy that it has taken has succeeded in reducing the negative repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the slowdown in the global economy, Egypt is one of the few emerging markets that continued to achieve positive growth rates, according to international institutions.
Today, we see the government working on a plan to achieve the sustainable development goals in all fields, and to localize them in various state agencies, through three main dimensions; economy, society, and environment. Therefore, we are witnessing a development movement accompanied by many projects in all sectors, such as energy, industry, and construction, which will push the Egyptian economy to achieve further progress in the next stage with strong growth prospects.
How do you evaluate the orientations of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) towards laying the foundations of financial inclusion? And how does ADCB contribute to enhancing electronic payments in the country?
The CBE plays a leading role in supporting the growth of the national economy, through several axes, including financial inclusion, which comes at the top of its priorities. It ‘s also an integral part of Egypt’s Vision 2030, which aims to integrate the informal economy into the formal economy.
Indeed, the CBE adopts several measures to advance financial inclusion, in terms of legislation, spreading financial awareness, and integrating different groups.
Perhaps one of the most important efforts of the Central Bank is to support digital transformation and digital payment tools, which have proven their importance, especially during the outbreak of the coronavirus. Digitization was one of the solutions to the crisis, while at the same time attracted many groups into the financial system.
As for ADCB, we enhanced the digital transformation process since its launch in the Egyptian market, and supported digitization processes using the latest technology, to improve the customer experience. The number of users of the bank’s digital services increased by about 300% during 2021, compared to 2020. The percentage of transfers and payments through digital channels has increased, as more than 50% of these operations are done digitally.
These percentages come as a result of the multiple digital solutions provided by the bank in record time, such as online banking, mobile phone, bank wallet and Meeza prepaid cards, which contributed to facilitating the completion and completion of banking services easily and safely, especially during the pandemic period.
What were the main indicators of the bank’s performance during its first year? And what were the most prominent axes that the bank was focused on?
We are proud of the bank’s performance in its first year in Egypt, as the various performance indicators confirmed that ADCB was at the forefront of the fastest growing banks in Egypt, according to statistics.
The portfolio of loans and credit facilities for customers increased to EGP 20.1bn, with a growth rate of 20.4% in September 2021, compared to 2020. Customer deposits recorded an increase of 37.9% to reach EGP 40.1bn.
ADCB is following an ambitious plan for growth in the Egyptian market, through a strategy based on several basic axes, namely, achieving customer satisfaction through commitment to the highest levels of quality and efficiency, leading the digital development boom and enhancing digitization processes using the latest technological means, and providing exceptional banking services and products to customers. We also achieve growth by exploiting opportunities in local markets; dealing with risks professionally; integrating sustainability standards in business plans; and attracting, developing, and retaining skilful employees.
Which sectors do receive the largest funds from the bank?
ADCB is keen to support national projects and finance the needs of its customers in all sectors, especially construction, contracting, and industrial sectors.
Indeed, during 2021, the Bank contributed to some major projects by the state, such as the Jihan Sadat axis, the electric train, the Manfalut axis and bridges in Assiut, the Al-Fardan axis, the Mahmoudiyah axis, the Tameer axis, and the Cairo Nile Corniche development project.
The bank also financed several joint real estate projects worth a total of EGP 750m, and participated in securitization operations worth a total of EGP 940m.
What are your plans to expand in terms of financial technology? And how does the bank plan to spread geographically during 2022?
Since the launch of ADCB in Egypt in 2020, the bank has been working according to an ambitious integrated plan for development and expansion to provide a distinguished banking experience, with the aim of being the most preferred bank.
The bank works through two main axes, namely digital transformation and geographical expansion, where the bank is accelerating the digital transformation process, to provide services at the highest level, and to reach the largest number of customers, commensurate with their needs and save them time and effort and complete their transactions with ease.
Indeed, the bank witnessed a significant increase in the number of users, as well as the percentage of transfers and payments through digital channels.
The bank aims to launch the bill payment service through mobile wallets soon, and to allow the opening of new accounts in an easy way.
Regarding the second axis, which is geographical spread, the bank is increasing the number of branches, renewing the existing branches, in order to expand the provision of more services, and continue to increase the number of customers.
At the end of 2021, the bank had opened the Concorde Plaza branch, which is the second in the New Cairo area, and with this addition, the total number of the bank’s branches reached 46 branches in 22 governorates around the Republic.
It is targeted to add five new branches in 2022, and the bank is currently developing the ATM network with the latest technology.
ADCB provided a unique model with regard to integrating people with disabilities, could you elaborate on this issue?
We have an integrated vision of financial inclusion, which targets all segments of society, including people with disabilities and special needs, as it is keen to integrate them into the economic system in a proper manner, allowing them to use banking services as everyone, within the framework of the directives of the Central Bank, and the state’s direction to integrate people with disabilities into society to serve the sustainable development goals and Egypt’s Vision 2030.
Recently, the bank launched the “Erada” package, which is the first of its kind that provides integrated services with banking and non-banking features designed to support people with disabilities. This package provides them with a large number of banking facilities and services to help them in their daily lives without administrative expenses and without a minimum. They also enjoy a medical card immediately upon opening the account, which allows them to obtain many specialized medical services and prosthetic devices at reduced fees.
This is not the first initiative launched by the bank in this regard, as the bank has trained customer service staff to use sign language, an initiative that is also the first of its kind in the Egyptian banking sector. The bank made it possible to print all bank documents in Braille, to help blind people of determination to read their bank documents, which enhances their abilities to be self-reliant and empowered in society, as well as providing means to help people with physical disabilities to move more smoothly within the bank’s branches. The bank will soon announce more additional services under this initiative.