The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has successfully completed the first wave of its banking reform program (started 2004 & ended December 2008). In January 2009 CBE initiated the second wave of its reform program scheduled to end by 2011 (extend up to 31 March 2012). This wave includes several pillars including applying Basel II in the Egyptian banking sector in cooperation with the European Union.
Basel II Program Memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in 2008 between CBE & European Central Bank (ECB); in cooperation with seven European National Central Banks (NCBs) namely; Bulgarian National Bank, Czech National Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Bank of Greece, Banque de France, Banca d'Italia, and National Bank of Romania. The Program duration was three years started in January 2009. A dedicated task force has been set up inside the CBE to manage all aspects leading to the implementation of Basel II framework. Also, an EU resident project coordinator from Banque de France joined the program. The program phases included Capacity building of the specialized task force and banking supervision executives on Basel II issues, Intense coordination with the banking system based on discussion papers that were issued on the significant topics related to Basel II, Quantitative impact studies (QIS) to assess the consequences of future Basel II regulations, Set up of a new data-warehouse framework to enhance data collection and Finalized the fine tuning of the regulations related to Basel II.
The program of implementing Basel II in the Egyptian banking sector has ended successfully; and it has been decided that banks will be required to apply Basel II pillar I regulations starting from December 2012 & June 2013 according to the end of the financial year of each bank.