Expats from the United States, Europe or elsewhere should find little difficulty in opening a personal bank account in Egypt. It’s a matter of producing the required official documentation – passport, work visa and residence certificate. A letter from the bank back home should also help in the application process as will a couple of recent bank statements. And that’s about it. Of course, you’ll need to be earning a decent monthly salary; too, otherwise the application is likely to end up in the waste paper bin.
Sadly, for the great majority of Egyptians, a simple bank account remains well out of reach. At first glance, that may seem surprising given the large number of bank branches and cash machines visible in the major cities, towns and major tourist attractions. Appearances, however, are a little bit deceptive. The truth is the handsome salary you may – or may not – be earning is likely to be unusual when compared to the earnings power of most of Egypt’s citizens, especially those living and working in the remoter rural communities.