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PRESS RELEASE

Completion of the cooperation programme between the Eurosystem and the Central Bank of Egypt in the area of banking supervision

25 November 2007

The Eurosystem cooperation programme in the area of banking supervision with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) reached its conclusion today with the formal delivery of the programme’s Completion Report by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) to Klaus Ebermann, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Egypt, and Tarek Amer, Deputy Governor of the CBE. The programme was initiated on 13 November 2005 and financed by the European Commission. As regards Eurosystem involvement, the programme was implemented by the ECB in partnership with the Deutsche Bundesbank, represented by Hans-Helmut Kotz; the Bank of Greece, represented by Ioannis Papadakis; the Banque de France, represented by Marc-Olivier Strauss-Kahn; and the Banca d’Italia, represented by Ignazio Visco.

The Eurosystem cooperation programme supported the CBE in the implementation of its plan to upgrade its banking supervision function by introducing a risk-focused approach and enhancing the technical capabilities of supervisory staff. The Eurosystem provided support to improve organisational efficiency within the CBE’s supervisory department. In accordance with the recommendations made following consultations under the programme, the CBE established new units to work on macro-prudential, legal and enforcement issues and the supervision of market risks. It also created a standing working group, composed of supervisors and information technology (IT) specialists. In addition, the Eurosystem contributed to the new inspection procedures established by the CBE, which include inspection reports, regular macro-prudential reports, new bank profiles, new IT tools and a new training curriculum. The Eurosystem further supported competence-building at the CBE through training courses.

The Eurosystem operations were coordinated by a team of two Eurosystem staff members, who were based at the CBE in Cairo, and a senior coordinator from the CBE, and were implemented by teams of experienced supervisors from the Eurosystem national central banks in cooperation with managers and teams of qualified supervisors from the CBE. Under this programme, the Eurosystem performed a total of 66 missions, mostly of a one-week duration, which involved a total of 1,752 budgeted working days by 60 Eurosystem staff members. There were 11 study visits by a total of 38 staff from the CBE to Eurosystem national central banks and eight training courses and seminars, which were mostly held at the Egyptian Banking Institute in Cairo and reached approximately half of all the CBE’s supervisory staff. Three high level seminars were organised with distinguished speakers from Europe.

The programme has been successfully completed thanks to strong professional commitment and ownership of the programme’s objectives by the senior management and staff members of the CBE, as well as smooth cooperation between all the parties involved.

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