Banking arena in Saudi Arabia asked to support businesses as well as provide job protection

The Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank is in pursuit to provide the lenders concessional loans to businesses contending with the fallout of the coronavirus so companies won’t need to cut jobs.

The Saudi Monetary Authority (SAMA) wants banks to right away put in situ a lending programme for a minimum of six months to “assist in maintaining employment levels”, consistent with a document sent by the regulator to lenders. Banks should also provide relief on debt repayments for any customers that have already been dismissed, SAMA said within the circular.

Bloomberg analyst Edmond Christou said during a note stated that all the measures “will come at a worth to shareholders as banks’ revenue are going to be anesthetize more pressure by the waivers on fees and a few interest charges.”

Central banks round the world have unveiled emergency stimulus packages because the pandemic forces authorities to limit international travel and enter full lockdown to slow the spread and stop it from overwhelming health services.

Saudi Arabia is that the only G20 country that has skilled the economic impact of the virus by cutting spending.

SAMA has divulged a 50-billion-riyal ($13.3bn) programme to assist private businesses within the kingdom that’s also handling a crash in oil prices. SAMA also postponed the implementation of outstanding Basel III standards to assist banks answer the coronavirus crisis.

  • Banks should waive all fees and charges from the utilization of digital channels for up to 6 months, including an activation fee for brand spanking new customers.
  • Minimum balance charges for all bank accounts to be waived for up to 6 months.
  • No fee to be charged for a minimum of six months to refinance existing facilities or break an existing loan or deposit agreement.
  • Review and reassess MasterCard interest rates and other charges for all customers.
  • Refund customers who may have to cancel travel bookings made on their credit, debit or prepaid cards.

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