Regularly saving a portion of your hard-earned salary for a rainy day is a sound idea. It’s a smart move in the UK. It’s a smart move if you’re planning to live and work in Egypt, too.
You’ll be glad to know the banking system there is a thoroughly modern one with plenty of excellent, not to mention award-winning banks to choose from. But, please, do shop around. Not all Egypt savings accounts are the same. Far from it.
Personal banking and current accounts are vital ingredients of everyday modern life. You can’t live without them. Debit cards are so handy, and being able to pay your bills through direct debit is a real godsend. However, when you open a savings account, not only are you looking for decent interest rates to maximise any savings, you’re probably thinking way into the future. At least you should be!
Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is home to many of the best-known international banks – HSBC, Barclays, Citibank, BNP Paribas and others. But there are a large number of home-grown banks always worth mentioning, such as the National Bank of Egypt, Banque du Caire or Banque Misr. Most have a good network of branches stretching across the city, not to mention further afield, so an ATM should always be within easy reach.
If you are looking to open a savings account within a branch then taking along some supporting documentation is important. The basics you’ll need to produce will usually include your passport, work visa and probably your residency certificate. However, the documentation required may well vary from bank to bank. A quick telephone call prior to any visit should put your mind at ease. Click here for more information.
The initial balance required to open any savings account will depend on the bank you’ve chosen to go with. It’ll also depend on the goals you have in mind, too, something you can easily discuss with the bank. An opening deposit of EGP 1,000 is fairly common. Some banks will look for something much less than that, say EGP 500, while others may require a higher minimum initial deposit.
Most savings accounts also allow foreign currency deposits, usually US Dollars, Euros, and Pounds Sterling. Interest may be calculated monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or on an annual basis. However, interest on foreign currencies may only be calculated annually. And the interest calculations may only kick in above a certain balance. Make sure you look closely at the account’s terms and conditions.
Many savings accounts come with a number of benefits, not least the tax-free returns. It’ll be much easier to obtain a loan from the bank, should you ever want one, as the savings account balance can act as a guarantee. You’ll usually have access to your money from the day you open an account through the issuing of an ATM card.
You’ll be able to transfer money to and from your account, such as your salary or pension, and be able to pay your bills, too. And what about the children, if you have any? Most savings accounts allow you the option of setting up an account for minors. The account will obviously have to be in their name and you’ll have to act as guardian. For information on bank account interest rates both in Egypt and around the world, click here.