Rania Nashar has been CEO of Samba Financial Group since February 2017, leading Saudi Arabia’s third-largest financial institution.
She is the first Saudi female to hold this position at Samba Financial Group and the first female chief executive of a listed Saudi commercial bank.
She has more than two decades of experience in the banking sector. Previously she was chief audit executive at Samba Financial Group for two years and five months, and head of compliance for five years and eight months, as well as holding other positions.
Nashar’s contribution to Samba Financial Group includes working on its merger with United Saudi Bank and overseeing the development of its digital services, as well as helping the bank’s transition to a fully Saudi institution after Citibank’s decision to withdraw its management agreement in 2003.
As head compliance officer, she led major projects including building a centralized regulatory compliance department and developing company-wide anti-money laundering strategies.
She was among another six Saudi women on the Forbes Middle East’s Most Influential Women list this year.
Nashar has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and information technology from King Saud University, Riyadh, and graduated in 1997.
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, she said: “We are embracing digitization and making it part of every business unit. Today customers are using mobiles and are comparing banks to tech-driven services – they want banking but they don’t want banks.”