The Egyptian subsidiary of French bank Crédit Agricole has an SME loan portfolio worth around 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($115.6 million), according to the lender’s head of proximity banking, Walie Lotfy.
“The total portfolio of deposits of the bank is about 40 billion Egyptian pounds, where the share of small and medium-sized enterprises is about 6 billion pounds, while the volume of the retail banking portfolio in Egypt has reached 7 billion pounds,” he said.
“Crédit Agricole Egypt’s strategy attaches great importance to the SME sector, particularly in the industrial and productive fields, which contribute to the import substitution and enhances the status of local production in Egypt,” he added.
Lotfy was speaking to Zawya on the sidelines of a press conference held on Wednesday by Crédit Agricole Egypt to announce the opening of a new, cashless branch concept known as “banki Store”, which is based at Dandy Mall in 6th of October City.
The branch contains ATMs allowing firms to carry out most routine transactions, with a digital greeter at the store front guiding customers on how to use it. The branches also have customer relationship managers offering advisory services.
Lotfy said the model had been developed following an “extensive work of research and field survey with our customers across Egypt to identify their interests and acceptance of digital services”.
Pierre Finas, managing director of Crédit Agricole Egypt, said that the new branches were part of the bank’s digital transformation plan, which were aligned to the Central Bank of Egypt’s own financial inclusion and digital transformation initiatives.
“The bank’s plan is to increase its branch network by 25 percent. The new balanced model of ‘banki Store’ will be leveraged with this expansion,” Finas said, referring to the bank’s use of both technology and of skilled employees to provide advice.
Finas also said that Crédit Agricole Egypt was “well-positioned” to comply with a Central Bank proposal to increase the minimum level of capital required by Egyptian banks to 5 billion pounds.
Crédit Agricole Egypt is a subsidiary of the Crédit Agricole Group, which last year earned net income of more than €6.8 billion ($7.7 billion) on revenue of €32.8 billion. According to its website, the bank has had a presence in Egypt since 2006. In total, it has a presence in more than 50 countries.