Saudi's SAMA advances licensing process of two digital banks

The Central Bank made this statement after the applicants had completed the requirements

  
Saudi Arabia's central bank governor Ahmed al-Kholifey speaks to reporters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 4, 2017.

Saudi Arabia's central bank governor Ahmed al-Kholifey speaks to reporters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 4, 2017.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
RIYADH — The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has announced that it has completed the procedures related to studying the two license applications for two local digital banks to conduct banking business in the Kingdom.

The Central Bank made this statement after the applicants had completed the requirements. The legality, guidelines and basic criteria for requesting a license to practice banking in the Kingdom, in addition to the guidelines and criteria for requesting a license for digital banks.

The Saudi Central Bank is eyeing the setting up of digital banks as it is in line with the transformation taking place in the Kingdom. The move is also in order to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims.

It is also based on the role of the Saudi Central Bank in supporting the growth and stability of the banking sector and the Saudi economy and the expansion and deepening of the financial sector,

Based on the powers granted under the Saudi Central Bank Law and the Banking Control Law, the Central Bank will submit to the higher authorities, according to the system, a request for the approval of the license.

After the approval is issued, the Central Bank will complete the supervision of the establishment and operating arrangements before the two banks conduct their business in the Kingdom.

This step comes in line with the central bank’s role in keeping pace with the latest developments in the financial sector, and seeking to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by developing the digital economy and enabling financial companies to support the growth of the private sector.

It has opened the way for new companies to provide financial services, in the past year, for 16 Saudi financial technology companies to provide payment services, consumer microfinance and electronic insurance brokerage.

The Central Bank has authorized 32 financial technology companies to work under the umbrella of the legislative experimental environment dedicated to experimenting with innovative financial services and products in the Kingdom.

This comes as a continuation of the efforts made by the Central Bank to encourage local banks to provide the best services and products through digital banking channels and in line with international best practices in this field.

That the two applicant banks fulfill the licensing requirements confirms the confidence of local and international investors in the stability and strength of the financial and banking sector in the Kingdom, and the opportunities available for expansion of this sector to continue to be a major tributary of growth and economic development in the Kingdom.

In this regard, the Central Bank confirmed continued receipt of new applications for licensing to engage in banking business in the Kingdom in order to achieve an added value for the banking sector and to contribute to the support and growth of the Saudi economy and serving citizens and companies. — SG
 

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