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Saudi Arabia’s banks getting ready to finance women buying cars

A woman drives a car in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
DAMMAM: The decision to allow women to drive will result in increased car sales requiring bank loans, and it is expected that banks will see a growing demand on this kind of loan; therefore, Saudi banks are getting ready to offer services to these women, a bank source said.
Talat Hafiz, secretary-general of the media and banking awareness committee of the Saudi banks, said that banks are ready to finance women wanting to buy cars directly and indirectly through payments to car dealerships, pointing out that this decision will have beneficial economic impacts such as facilitating the work of women and expanding their economic roles.
He pointed out “one of the main problems impeding women’s work is transportation. The money women spend on taxis is considered a big waste. Therefore, families will be able to save a lot now.”
“Car sales in the Kingdom reach 600,000 thousand annually. However, this number will increase by 50 percent in the coming period, which will have many positive impacts on the country’s economy, including the GDP,” he added.
As for the banks’ position regarding this decision, he said that banks make no distinction between women and men, whether it is a consumer, mortgage or investment loan. However, banks expect to receive more female applicants in the coming period, which will have a positive impact on the overall economy.
He said that banks are ready to support this decision, noting that there will be new job opportunities for women in the transportation sector, such as with transportation companies Uber and Kareem, which might hire female drivers, giving more privacy to women who would prefer a female driver instead of a male one.

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