RIYADH The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has announced the issuance of the governing rules for electronic issuance and authenticity verification of banking documents. This comes as part of its continuous efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of electronic services provided to customers of the banking sector.

The aim is to ensure easy financial transactions, save time and effort in obtaining bank documents and certificates, and boost confidence in the authenticity of documents issued electronically.

SAMA stated on Wednesday that the rules include the requirements that banks must observe before issuing bank documents.

Additionally, banks are required to provide E-document Verification service; a service to electronically verify the authenticity of electronic and paper documents they issue. Moreover, the document must also state any available method to electronically verify its authenticity.

SAMA pointed out that the rules set out the minimum bank documents required to be issued electronically, which are the most requested by customers, such as bank certificates, debt certificates, and no liability letters.

SAMA stressed that banks must comply with the processing times specified under relevant instructions as well as set procedures and measures that ensure compliance with these rules. In this regard, SAMA stated that the rules shall be effective starting from April 1, 2022.

On Tuesday, SAMA announced that it has updated the rules for practicing debt crowdfunding activities. Updating these rules followed the public consultation released earlier on the Public Consultation Platform.

This step comes in line with SAMA’s continued efforts to develop the finance sector and to keep abreast of recent development in the finance industry as well as support Fintech that led to the emergence of a number of Fintech companies.

SAMA clarified that the updated rules aim to redefine the beneficiary to include all commercial establishments registered in Saudi Arabia that seek to obtain financing through the debt crowdfunding platform.

It added the definition of aggregate accounts to ensure complete separation between the funds of the participants in the financing process and the funds of the crowdfunding facility.

In addition, it determines the allowed ceiling crowdfunding based on the capital criterion by amending Article (28).

On Monday, the General Secretariat of the Committees for Banking and Financial Disputes and Violations announced the launch of the Banking and Financial Disputes Ombudsman Center.

Ombudsman center aims to put in operation Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods to settle disputes arising from banking and financial transactions between licensed financial institutions and their clients by visiting the website www.bfc.gov.sa.

Such methods adopt amicable and agreeable approaches, while consolidating this notion among the members of society. This would reflect positively on disputing parties and contribute to the achievement of Saudi Vision 2030.

Moreover, such service allows for the settlement of disputes in a short turnover period with lower costs for disputing parties.

Additionally, the General Secretariat of the Committees for Banking and Financial Disputes and Violations emphasizes that proposals of the Ombudsman Center will be based on statutory basis and judicial precedents and principles that underpin the Committees law. 

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