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Latham & Watkins Advises Central Bank of Egypt on Establishment of the Republic’s Comprehensive New Banking Law

October 7, 2020
Law forms a key pillar of Egypt’s ongoing programme of economic reform.

Latham & Watkins has advised the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) on the formulation of Egypt’s new banking law (No 194 of 2020), a key pillar of the Republic’s ongoing programme of economic reform. The law, passed under Presidential Decree in September 2020, will significantly enhance Egypt’s banking system in line with international standards and best practices, and offers a blueprint for the reform of banking systems in other emerging economies.

Latham was instructed by His Excellency Tarek Amer, Governor of the CBE, to advise on, and assist with the drafting of, key aspects of the new law, including principles-based regulation, an enforcement and sanctions regime, a bespoke competition framework for the banking sector, a licencing regime for senior officers, a transparent bank control and ownership framework, and enhanced consumer protection and dispute resolution frameworks, among other areas.

The firm also assisted the CBE with the formulation of its Usage of Non-Cash Payments’ Methods Law. As one of the largest economies and most populous nations in Africa, the law is designed to encourage the take-up of non-cash payment methods and improve consumer access to everyday banking and payment services.

“We are honoured to work alongside his Excellency Tarek Amer and the outstanding team at the Central Bank of Egypt on such an important assignment – one which should, in the fullness of time, have tangible benefits for the economy and the population at large,” said financial regulatory partner David Berman in Latham & Watkins London office. “The Law provides Egypt with a strong framework to underpin the regulation of its banking and payments industry; and, in turn, serves to add further impetus to the Republic’s continuing economic reform programme.”

“The global financial services industry is undergoing rapid change with rapid developments in payments and financial technology. The new Banking Law creates a comprehensive regulatory regime covering payment systems, services and fintech which should help to foster growth and innovation in these important areas. We are proud to have worked with the Central Bank of Egypt team in its development,” added Stuart Davis, a financial regulatory partner in Latham’s London office.

Latham’s cross-border team spanned its London, New York, Washington, D.C., Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong, and Dubai offices, and involved lawyers from the firm’s financial regulatory, fintech, corporate, litigation, antitrust, and capital markets practices. The team was led from London by financial regulatory partners David Berman and Stuart Davis, with partner Nicola Higgs and associates Gabriel Lakeman, Brett Carr, Sam Maxson, Clare Nida, Katy Sanders, Ella McGinn, Nell Perks and Jonathan Ritson-Chandler.

Advice was also provided by litigation partner Andrea Monks and corporate partner James Inness in London; financial regulatory partners Dana Fleischman and Stephen Wink, corporate partner Alan Avery, international arbitration partner Claudia Salomon, antitrust and competition partner Michael Lacovara, and financial regulatory counsel Pia Naib, with associates Naim Culhaci and Alexander DeLisi in New York; capital markets partner Paul Dudek and associate Rebekah Soule in Washington, D.C.; financial regulatory partner Axel Schiemann and associate Max von Cube in Frankfurt; capital markets counsel Yulia Dementieva in Moscow; corporate associate Kenneth Hui in Hong Kong; and financial regulatory associate Khaled Alhuneidi in Dubai.