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The Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) was founded in 1931 with the objective of developing Egypt's agricultural sector. In the ensuing years the bank grew rapidly to become the largest financial institution in the Arab world serving the specific interests of the farming community. Today ABE is a full financial and banking institution and its operations are carried out through a network that encompasses an administrative head office in Cairo, and about 1200 district branches and village banks. The bank currently employs approximately 15,000 staff and serves over 3 million farmers and other rural dwellers. ABE is wholly-owned by the Egyptian government and is answerable to the Central Bank of Egypt.