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Middle East’s best bank for SMEs 2022: Commercial International Bank

Egypt’s Commercial International Bank (CIB) has emerged as not only a very good bank for small and medium-sized enterprises but also a key innovator in a sometimes overlooked area of finance.

The Cairo-based lender’s business banking division caters to SMEs with annual revenues ranging from E£1 million to E£200 million ($53,384 to $10.74 million). It serves over 70,000 companies through a network of 250 experienced relationship managers.

In 2021, the division posted an operating profit of E£1.88 billion, up 20% year on year, with deposits up 41% to E£41.7 billion and assets jumping 93%. SME lending as a share of CIB’s total loan book stood at 18.04% at the end of February 2022, against 12.89% 11 months earlier. CIB also introduced its first dedicated contact centre for SMEs, providing a single point of communication and service for all smaller businesses.

Much of what the bank does well is simple good common sense. CIB's data analytics team created an early warning system that triggers alerts when a customer, for example, underperforms or threatens to fall into delinquency.

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