RIYADH — The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has prohibited all entities under its supervision such as banks, insurance companies, financing companies, collection agencies, and other entities, from sending any advertisement for insurance or credit products that are inappropriate for customers under the age of 18. The age will be calculated under the Hijri year, the Central Bank said in a statement that contains a number of directives to banks and other financial entities.

According to the SAMA directives, financial institutions will be prevented from using personal information and data belonging to customers in advertising materials without obtaining their prior written consent. It stressed that financial institutions must clarify their free products and services explicitly, specifying the target group of the product or service, without harming or discrediting the financial sector and the interests of other financial institutions, or violating the principle of competition.

With regard to the advertised product or service if it is priced in foreign currencies, or if the value of the advertised product or service is affected by the foreign exchange rate, it must contain an explicit phrase “the price of the product or service can be affected by changes in the foreign exchange rate” in clear and legible handwriting.

The Central Bank obligated all financial institutions to obtain the customer’s approval in writing or electronically regarding his desire to receive advertisements sent to him according to the channels preferred by the customer and to grant the customer the right permanently to refuse to receive such advertisements easily and in clear and specific ways.

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