The Egyptian banking sector plays an integral role in supporting sustainable development efforts and long-term social and economic stability, said Chairperson and Managing Director of saib bank Tarek El-Khouly.
In an interview with Daily News Egypt, he said that saib’s strategy for corporate social responsibility (CSR) aims to support the efforts of the state and civil society institutions towards achieving comprehensive development in Egypt.
He indicated that the bank faced great challenges due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, saib was able to achieve many of its goals. “We are working during the current year to complete the objectives of the bank’s ambitious strategic plan. The plan prioritizes efforts to improve the quality of performance of banking services provided to customers, by developing channels of communication, through the branches and electronic channels. The plan also targets achieving a safe growth volume for SMEs loans and retail banking,” El-Khouly added.
Moreover, he indicated that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) played an important role in granting approvals for the launch of digital services and products during the last period. El-Khouly stressed that these services provided a lot of flexibility and ease in completing citizens’ banking and financial transactions, such as bank wallets, QR Codes, and Internet banking.
He explained that the bank adopts a balanced plan that combines geographical expansion with the promotion of electronic services. Accordingly, saib aims to bring the number of its branches in 2022 to 40 branches, in addition to deploying more financial education centres (saib cube). The bank currently has four saib cube centres in Giza, Tanta, and Alexandria.
He added that saib succeeded in replacing all of its ATMs with the latest generation and that an additional 65 new machines were recently contracted. The total number of ATMs currently stands at more than 100. The bank aims to increase the number of ATMs to strengthen its presence nationwide, not only in Greater Cairo.
Regarding human capital, El-Khouly indicated that the bank has launched the first integrated credit analysis programme saib Credit Academy, in cooperation with the Egyptian Banking Institute, and the first batch of it has been graduated.
“Despite COVID-19 pandemic, we managed to maintain strong growth. The bank achieved a net profit of $14.2m at the end of September 2021, up from $13.2m at the end of September 2020, while the total profits, before taxes, amounted to $51m compared to $43m a year earlier,” El-Khouly revealed.
Furthermore, saib’s net income from fees and commissions increased by 14% at the end of September 2021, compared to September 2020, due to the increase in fees and commissions for retail banking loans.
According to El-Khouly, net loans and credit facilities to customers and banks increased by $334m, an increase of 20%, driven by an increase in total retail banking loans to individual customers by 70%. While the total loans provided to corporate clients increased by 6%.
Moreover, customer deposits increased by $132m at a rate of 3%, and the ratio of total loans and facilities to customers and banks to customer deposits reached 54% on September 30, 2021, compared to 47% at the end of December 2020.
The capital adequacy ratio reached 14.59% at the end of September 2021, compared to 16.45% at the end of December 2020.
He indicated that to complement the bank’s efforts aimed at benefiting the community and achieving community development, saib has taken concrete steps towards achieving meaningful CSR activities.
“saib continued its endeavours to participate in events affecting the community, where social responsibility represents an important aspect of the bank’s business strategy,” El-Khouly stressed.
He explained that saib’s CSR strategy aims to support the efforts of the state and civil society institutions and to provide assistance and support for all ideas and initiatives aimed at supporting comprehensive development plans in Egypt.
“CSR is one of the pillars of the bank’s strategic activities,” he stressed.
The bank is concerned with three main pillars in this framework, El-Khouly indicated. The first is economic development, which contributes to promoting an adequate and healthy standard of living for individuals. The second is societal progress, community development and revitalization, through improving health services and education, fighting unemployment and poverty. The third is environmental protection.
According to El-Khouly, the bank’s recent activities include signing a cooperation protocol with the Magdi Yacoub Foundation for Heart Diseases and Research, to provide free medical services for cardiovascular patients. The bank has also signed a cooperation agreement with the Ibrahim Badran Foundation for Charitable Activities, through which medical convoys are equipped and operated for people with special needs.
He explained that in order to enhance the bank’s role in supporting the national economy, it injected EGP 10m by joining as a main participant in the activities of the national initiative launched by the Federation of Egyptian Banks to face the economic repercussions of coronavirus pandemic.
He pointed out that the bank also has a prominent role in the sports sector, as it is the official sponsor of Egyptian football since 2014 until now.
“The bank’s role is not limited to football only but is also interested in supporting talented people in all fields of sports,” El-Khouly indicated.
He added, that in this context, saib signed a joint cooperation protocol with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, according to which the bank supports a number of national sports and youth projects. This aims to support and sponsor the national development plans adopted by the state in this field.
El-Khouly stressed that the bank does not hesitate to support all educational, health, environmental and other institutions in the communities in which it operates.
In appreciation of its national role and its contribution to supporting the projects of the Tahya Misr Fund, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi honoured saib Bank with a certificate of thanks and appreciation.
“We spare no effort to participate in supporting the initiatives of the Tahya Misr Fund. Our belief in the social responsibility to stand by the state institutions.”