First Sub-Governor, Technical Office of the Governor Financial Inclusion Sector, Banking Reform Sector – Central Bank of Egypt
May Abulnaga is the First Sub-Governor in charge of the technical office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) handling all technical aspects of the Governor’s work. She is also in charge of Financial Inclusion, Banking Reform, the CBE strategy, PMO, Public Relations and oversees Consumer and Competition Protection as well as the Regulations Sector under Banking Supervision.
Her career spans 28 years starting on the commercial banking side specializing at the early phase in corporate credit and credit risk. She joined the CBE in 2005 to restructure the state-owned banks as part of the reform program conducted by the CBE for the Egyptian banking sector. Shortly after, she established the Regulations Department within Banking Supervision (2007), responsible for the set up and execution of the formal Regulation Setting Process for all prudential regulations issued to the Egyptian banking sector based on current market needs and in light of international best practices. Examples of issued regulations are; Bank Governance, Internal control, Developer & Acquisition finance, exposure limits to countries, financial groups as well as taking part in all Basel regulations. Moreover, she managed the process of updating and publishing of the consolidated Book of Regulations (compendium) on the CBE website. The department is also in charge of the preparation, review & negotiation of Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with other Egyptian authorities for related national cooperation as well as supervisory authorities in other countries as part of any bilateral international cooperation. She also led the new banking law committee until end of 2018 reviewing, amending the previous law and proposing the first draft of the new law.
In early 2013, May assumed the responsibility of Financial Inclusion where numerous initiatives and regulations were issued to promote inclusion such as the SME, mortgage finance initiatives directed to low- and medium-income earners, simplified KYC rules, mobile payment regulations, easing the rules for opening Banks’ retail and SME branches. This is apart from many gender related initiatives and regulations such as setting up a gender sensitive measurement tool for financial inclusion. May is working on a project to conduct a data mapping exercise including a supply side analysis as well as a demand side national survey for MSMEs and households to identify exclusion gaps to feed into a national level strategy for financial inclusion and literacy. Moreover, May is strategically managing all financial inclusion projects though the creation of a high-level coordinating committee chaired by the deputies of the CBE.
In addition, May assumed the responsibility of managing the Banking Reform Sector currently in charge of Entrepreneurship support and non-financial services through many initiatives such as Nile Preneur, apart from a larger mandate on MSME business development with a focus on the Agri business and promoting SME finance to create a sustainable banking environment.
As Part of the Financial inclusion framework May oversees the recently established Financial Consumer and Competition Protection Sector mandated by the new Central Bank law aiming at maintaining consumer confidence in the financial system & build trusted relation through applying related standard principles and availing a well-structured depute resolution mechanism. Moreover, she is currently setting up the CBE strategy and PMO department to harmonize all CBE projects under specified strategic objectives serving the macro level targets of the CBE.
During her career, May served on several Board of Directors including Egyptian Mortgage Refinance Company, the Mortgage Finance Subsidy Fund and the United Bank heading the Risk and “Governance & Nomination” board committees. Currently, she serves as the non-executive Board Member of Arab International Bank, heading the board’s Audit committee, as well as being a member of the board “Governance & Nomination” committee. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the FRA supervisory unit on Micro Finance conducted through NGO’s. In 2021, she was appointed as a Board Member on the Union of Arab and French Banks (UBAF). In 2015, May was appointed as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Egypt. She is the official member representing the CBE on the Arab Committee on Banking Supervision created by the Board of Arab Central Bank Governors and Arab Monetary Fund. She is a former member of the Alliance of Financial Inclusion high level Gender committee. In 2014, May was awarded the Fellowship of The Fletcher School Leadership Program on Financial Inclusion from Tufts University in Boston, USA and recently obtained the Certificate of Harvard Business School for the Executive leadership Program. She holds a Bachelor degree with “High Honors” in Business Administration with a minor in Economics from the American University in Cairo.