|27 February, 2020

Saudi Arabia studying license requests for two digital banks

Capital adequacy of applicants to be assessed on a case-by-case basis

Image used for illustrative purpose. Saudi new guidelines require digital banks to maintain physical presence in the kingdom

Image used for illustrative purpose. Saudi new guidelines require digital banks to maintain physical presence in the kingdom

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Saudi Arabia's central bank is reviewing licence requests for two digital banks to operate in the kingdom, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) confirmed to Zawya on the phone.

“Work is underway to evaluate these two licence requests,” Yazeed Alsheikh, director for general of banking control at SAMA, was earlier quoted as saying in local daily Aleqtisadiyah.

He added that  the policy for granting licenses for digital banks is done through a comprehensive evaluation process that takes into account what added value a provider can bring to the Saudi banking sector.

Earlier this week, SAMA issued licensing guidelines for digital-only banks in Saudi Arabia. It stipulated that online banks must set up as a locally incorporated joint-stock company and maintain a physical presence in the kingdom.

The Saudi regulator will assess the adequacy of capital of applicants “on a case-by-case basis considering the scale, nature and complexity of the operations,” SAMA said. Read more here

(Writing by Nada Al Rifai; editing by Cleofe Maceda)

Nada.rifai@refinitiv.com

#SAUDI #BANKING #DIGITAL #SAMA #POLICY

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