Analysis: How the maximum wage affected Egypt’s public banks?
Central Bank of Egypt - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: More than 250 senior banking officials have resigned since the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) along with public banks decided to apply the new Maximum Wage Law, effective from July 2014, according to a Youm7 analysis published Wednesday.

The application of the 42,000 EGP ($5,873) monthly maximum wage rocked the banking sector, leading a significant number of senior officials to resign in search of better opportunities at private and Gulf banks.

This decision put six top banking posts on equal footing with equal salaries: president, vice president, sector heads and general directors. The controversial maximum wage law is making it harder for the banking sector to attract efficient cadres to develop state-owned banks, some experts say.

Egypt’s biggest public banks, National Bank of Egypt, Misr Banque and Banque du Caire, witnessed a sweeping wave of resignations among the top three ranks of their staffs, seeking better opportunities and higher salaries, namely at foreign, Gulf and private banks.

Private, foreign and Gulf banks are the key gainers of this decision as their policy is mainly based on hiring banking cadres in the main sectors such as credit, risk management, retail, small and medium enterprises.

According to the analysis, a new wave of resignations is highly expected to take place in 2015 at Egyptian banks as the average wages in the market is below the maximum wage.

As the maximum wage was approved by a presidential decree last July, any possible amendments would require a modified law from the president or through the new parliament schedule when it holds its first session In May.

Hundreds of employees are bargaining on the parliament to restructure the wages of State-owned banks’ employees who represent 40 percent of banking labor.

Among the top officials who resigned was CBE’s deputy governor Nidal Assar who left his post in December to head the Egyptian Gulf Bank starting in March 2015.

Top government officials’ told Youm7 that there is no intention to amend the law, indicates that the solution to this issue would need a parliamentary discussion.

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