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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Amendments to Banking Act will strengthen the central bank’s consumer protection role

Amendments to Banking Act to make central bank the primary consumer protection agency for the banking industry: Amendments to the Banking Act, which are still being drafted by the central bank, will, in effect, make the CBE the primary consumer protection agency for the banking industry, Al Mal reports. Under the law’s provisions, the CBE will be responsible for taking consumer complaints and investigating them. The CBE will also be charged with adjudicating between customers and banks in the event of a dispute. The law will also afford the CBE the right to order settlements and mete-out punitive measures against financial institutions found in violation of laws and standards. The amendments would also see the CBE assume some powers of the Egyptian Competition Authority, making it the ultimate arbiter of what constitutes a monopoly in the sector.

The CBE may begin issuing consumer-centric regulations ahead of the law. These will include new, customer-focused transparency regulations and disclosure rules, said Khaled Bassiouny, head of the CBE’s financial inclusion unit, at the Seamless North Africa fintech conference. These new rules will also see the establishment of the customer complaints unit.

Also coming of the Seamless fintech conference: The central bank is planning to establish an EGP 1 bn venture capital fund, CBE Governor Tarek Amer announced. The bank will look to finance “innovative ideas and projects” through the fund, he added. Also in the cards, Amer says: All things digital, Al Borsa reports.

Also speaking at the conference was Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, who said Egypt aims to become a regional hub for fintech innovation.

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