Personal finance in Egypt is much like personal finance…in the United Kingdom. Surprised? Really, you shouldn’t be. Strange how the perception of some countries often tagged ‘exotic’ can never quite match the modern, forward-looking image we have of our own country, despite all the evidence to the contrary!
Yet, banking in Egypt has gone through an incredible metamorphosis in the last four decades, beginning with the emergence of private sector and joint venture banks during the 1970s. Later, a whole series of reforms, privatization, and mergers and acquisitions dramatically altered the landscape further, turning the sector into what we can see today.
And Egypt is a great place to be judging by the number of multinational banks which have set up shop in the country. HSBC, Barclays, Citibank and others are all instantly recognisable household names. You can bet your bottom dollar they’re all there because doing business in Egypt is an extremely worthwhile pursuit, not to mention a profitable one, too.
Although Arabic is the official language of Egypt, English is commonly spoken, as is French, so ex-pats wanting to avail themselves of a bit of personal banking should have little difficulties as far as communication is concerned. If you’ve a query about interest rates, or want to open a savings account, for example, or have a question about Egypt savings accounts in general then all should be revealed fairly readily. So no worries there!
Of course, if face-to-face communication is not an imperative, there’s always the cyberspace route to venture down. Both multinational banks and their indigenous counterparts know the importance of having an extremely strong online presence. Customers nowadays also expect to be be able to do their banking online as a matter of routine. How banking has changed.
However, some of the basic aspects of banking remain the same, just as they always have. Whether its HSBC savings accounts, Barclay’s current accounts, or the bread-and-butter deposit accounts of just about every other bank in the land, common threads run through them all.
We’re all fairly familiar with the concept of current accounts. They’re the accounts we use on a daily basis for our everyday banking needs. Since your money is usually going in and being taken out on a regular basis, interests rates generally tend to be on the low side. With such an account will usually come a debit card, as standard, in order to make accessing our money much easier, say through the bank’s network of ATM machines. It’s the sort of service most of us couldn’t live without.
With a current account may come the offer of a credit card, too, naturally subject to status, and with a rate of interest that relates to your level of creditworthiness. The bank may also offer you an account in a range of different currencies.
The second type of account is the savings account where money tends to be kept for longer periods. Because of that, such accounts usually pay much better rates of interest. The down side is you might not be able to access your money for set periods.
Finally, there’s the deposit account. Although you may be offered the highest interest rates, access to your funds will likely be limited or severely restricted until maturity of the account.
For further information on Egypt’s banks, click here.