1. Is there a standardized form for the current bank account opening agreement?
As part of SAMA objectives aimed at raising the level of financial inclusion in the Kingdom, facilitating the procedures for opening a current bank account, and creating clear terms and conditions that achieve fair transactions and reflect the contents of the SAMA instructions and rules, SAMA has approved two standardized forms for opening a current bank account for individuals and legal persons.
2. Do banks have the right to amend the standardized form of the current bank account opening agreement, whether for individuals or legal persons?
For individuals, no, but for legal persons yes if such amendment grants greater rights and benefits to the legal persons, provided that banks have to comply with the provisions mentioned in SAMA Bank Account Rules and obtain their prior non-objection thereon.
3. Is there a ceiling for fees charged for banking services?
SAMA approved the banking tariff to support financial inclusion. It specifies the ceiling that banks may collect for core banking services offered to customers. There are other instructions for administrative fees for financing and transfer fees through SARIE System for instant transfers.
4. What services did SAMA give to handicapped bank customers that enable them to easily and conveniently access banking products and services?
SAMA issued instructions for services offered to handicapped customers, including a number of requirements that aim at enhancing the easy and convenient access of this category to financial products and services, removing all physical and behavioral barriers that impede their access to financial services, and protecting their rights as users of financial services. This includes providing self-service machines fit for the use of handicapped customers, and announcing their whereabouts by available means.
5. Can the prices of financing and savings products, offered by banks, be accessed to for comparison?
SAMA issued rules for disclosing prices of financing and savings products, which aim to enhance transparency as regards the annual percentage rate (profits)/annual equivalent rate for the various products, offered by banks and finance companies for individuals and micro and small enterprises. The rules also required banks and finance companies to disclose and publish detailed and clear information of financing and savings products on their website and marketing channels and materials to enable customers to compare their prices.
6. Is there any minimum limits for a customer's bank statement information?
SAMA issued instructions regulating the requirements and information necessary to be included in bank account statements in order to protect customers by standardizing the minimum number of operations and their details that must be included in bank statements. Other options can be offered to customers to obtain a short bank statement.
7. How did the Rules for Bank Accounts protect the rights of customers as regards their bank accounts?
Consumer protection is one of SAMA objectives. Without prejudice to the provisions of the relevant laws and regulations, Rules for Bank Accounts include a number of provisions, aimed at protecting the consumer rights as regards their bank accounts. These Rules have provisions on protecting customer data and maintaining its confidentiality. They also include consumer right to open a bank account without requiring any cash deposit within one business day for accounts that do not require the approval of the concerned departments in the bank, and two business days for those that require it. They also require banks to notify customers of the date of account freezing due to the expiration of identity or failure to update account information within at least (30) days before the account freeze date. Those are some examples of some provisions stated in the Rules in order to protect the rights of customers.
8. What information the consumer finance contract must include?
Article (5) of the Consumer Finance Regulations, issued by SAMA, stated this information. This includes, but not limited to, names and data of the finance contract parties, type of finance, maturity period, finance amount, and a description of the calculation method for determining the value of the term cost.
9. Is the annual percentage rate (profits) calculated on the finance amount using the declining balance method?
Banks must use the declining balance method when calculating the annual percentage rate (profits) on the financing amount.
10. What must the real estate finance contract include?
Article (10) of the Implementing Regulation of the Real Estate Finance Law specifies minimum elements to be included in the finance contract, such as: the term of real estate finance contract, total amount of real estate finance, number of installments, amount of each installment, dates of the first and last installments, etc. To view this Implementing Regulation and its updates, please visit the official website of SAMA or the following link:
11. Does the bank have the right to refrain from confiscating a bank guarantee letter upon a beneficiary request because this customer is subject to one of the bankruptcy procedures?
SAMA instructed all banks, operating in the Kingdom, not to refrain from confiscating a bank guarantee letter because of starting a bankruptcy procedure, suspending claims against the customer, ordering the issuance of the letter, and implementing their obligation as per the terms and conditions, stipulated in the bank guarantee letter.
12. How can I access laws, regulations and instructions on the banking business?
You can access them and any of their updates via SAMA official website of or the following link:
13. Which department at SAMA is concerned with receiving banks customers complaints?
Banks customers can escalate complaints against banks, operating in the Kingdom, to the Consumer Protection Department at SAMA through the available channels, including SAMA Cares website. When using any of these channels to submit your complaint, you will receive a complaint reference number that you must use in all future correspondences relating to your complaint. To view more Frequently Asked Questions related to customer protection, please visit the following link:
Note: Arabic shall be the language used in construing these questions.