RIYADH: Saudi Arabia can expect a sea change in its digital banking services after the Ministry of Investment signed memorandums of understanding with Al-Rajhi Bank, Alinma Bank, and Banque Saudi Fransi.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, the MoUs aim to enhance the role of the digital banking sector and help these institutions provide better services to investors.
The agreements will also provide facilities to companies to assist them in enriching the investment journey in a way that works to promote the growth and diversification of the national economy, SPA reported.
The latest MoUs come after the Ministry of Investment inked a deal with Riyad Bank to make it easier for foreign companies relocating their headquarters to the Kingdom to access digital banking.
According to the bank, employees of those companies would be offered fast and efficient procedures to open accounts, issue banking cards, join special memberships, and identify relationship managers, adding that all services will be made available upon arrival to Saudi Arabia and prior to issuing a work permit, in order to help them settle faster.
The Riyad Bank explained that these banking facilities and services would be provided with advanced digital solutions as a contribution from the bank to support the investment environment in the Kingdom and provide distinctive facilities that support efforts to enhance the economy and diversify investments in the Kingdom.
Despite tighter liquidity, banks in Saudi Arabia are expected to perform well this year thanks to a favorable operating environment in the Kingdom, according to credit rating agency Fitch.
A report from the US-based firm in July noted that non-oil economic growth in Saudi Arabia will play a crucial role in elevating the profitability of banks in the Kingdom.
“The average operating profit/risk-weighted assets of Fitch-rated Saudi banks was 2.7 percent in 2022, and we expect non-oil economic growth to support profitability in 2023, driven by government capex, private-sector credit growth, lower unemployment, and the government’s ongoing Vision 2030 strategy,” said Fitch.