Today we celebrate a decade since the establishment of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), an entity that united three regulatory bodies as one unified regulatory organization for the non-banking financial sector in Egypt.
Even though the past ten years have passed so quickly, non-banking financial Sector has witnessed a radical transformation. Things were not easy, especially that the early years witnessed political transformations and huge economic challenges that had a significant impact on the non-banking financial sector, making it harder on the Financial Regulatory Authority to get the sector to a safe haven.
The journey has been long, difficult and challenging, as we had to unify human and material resources, data and information systems for three different entities. Moreover, we had to develop a regulatory framework for several financial instruments while supporting the development of new tools and activities such as movable collateral, microfinance, futures market and lately consumer finance. There is no doubt that the merger decision was a strategic one, which led Egypt to be a pioneer emerging country to merge all non-banking financial authorities under one umbrella.
This period chronicles 10 years of non-banking financial supervision that add to a history of more than seven decades of financial supervision, and today as we celebrate, we are glad to see Egypt improve 63 ranks in 4 years in terms of minority investor protection, according to “ Doing Business Report”. This was led by the decisions issued by FRA to increase the scope of disclosure, transparency and the efficiency of the regulatory frameworks for corporate governance and minority protection.
During that period, the capital market in Egypt witnessed a remarkable increase in securities issuances, were it recorded more than EGP 934 billion. Moreover, market capitalization increased to record EGP750 (billion) in the year 2018, up from only EGP 474 (billion) in 2008. Insurance sector also witnessed an outstanding activity since the merger, with net investments increasing by 243%, while investments of private insurance funds increased by 177% to reach EGP67 billion at the end of 2018.
Toward approaching the end of an era, we had to launch a new roadmap for the non-banking financial sector that faces challenges, supports ambitions, and re-creates an inclusive non-banking financial sector, which is characterized by independence and gender equality, a one that transforms financial inclusion from insights and ideas to an authentic reality that empowers women and the less privileged.
Moreover, we have focused on community dialogue in making decisions and laws, as we believe that we are all partners in benefiting this sector. We will also continue to expand the application of governance practices in the sector and insist on providing the greatest protection of minority rights. There is still a lot to do, from applying microinsurnace to achieving sustainability in this sector. In addition to many plans that we have included in FRA strategy for the period 2018-2022.
Perhaps the slogan that we have launched over the last two years, “Building Bridges, Not Walls” is a good summary of the current philosophy that we adopt. However, our role is not only limited to supervision; it also includes creating a suitable environment for investment, a one that is open to updates, improvements and expansions and at the same time protects sector participants.
Since loyalty is the virtue of faithfulness, appreciation is extended to all predecessor, those who paved the way for us, and to every colleague at various levels who made sincere effort in the past years to be where we are now.
Dr. Mohammed Omran