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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Lamees accuses Tarek Amer of attempting a power grab

We interrupt our talk show hiatus to bring you this late-breaking bulletin from Hona Al Assema, which mounted a broadside against CBE Governor Tarek Amer last night.Thanks, Lamees.

Host Lamees El Hadidi accused Amer of making a power grab through proposed amendments to the central bank and banking acts. Proposed amendments to the two acts would grant “excessive powers” over the banking sector to the CBE governor, Lamees claimed. According to “copies of the draft” (she made sure to hold up a piece of paper in front of the camera), Lamees claims that the bill would give the governor’s office greater oversight and decision making powers over the banking sector’s general assemblies. She also alleged that the bill would concentrate decisionmaking at the bank in the governor’s office, effectively neutering the bank’s board.

The move would also infringe on some of the powers of the presidency and the prime minister, Lamees alleged in a diatribe (watch, runtime: 4:50). The host provided no concrete detail and cited unnamed sources within the industry.

Here is what we know so far of the amendments to both laws: Following a decree setting a nine-year term limit for any bank’s managing director back in March of last year, Deputy Governor Gamal Negm had said that the CBE would amend the CBE Act and conduct a thorough evaluation of the banking sector’s board of directors and executive management. He gave no detail at the time on either move. Last month, Al Borsa reported that amendments to the Banking Act were being drafted and will be completed by August. The amendments would bring non-banking financial institutions under CBE oversight, ostensibly as a means of protecting the interests of retail clients and reducing red tape in the sector. Consultations with the domestic banking industry and international organizations including the IMF were underway, the article had said.

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