Saudi Arabia Fines 16 Banks, Including Its Biggest Islamic Bank
Saudi Arabia's central bank on Sunday fined 16 banks, including a UAE bank and some of Kingdom's largest banks, for violating its laws and asked all the lenders to correct the violations.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (Sama) said the banks were fined for violating the "individual responsible finance principles" to implement principles of justice and transparency and to ensure full compliance with the responsible finance that should meet with the actual needs of all the segments of the society.
The regulator said the decision will also ensure fairness and competitiveness of financiers and to maintain the efficiency of procedures and mechanism in this regard. However, it didn't disclose details of the fines.
The banks that were fined by Sama are Al Rajhi Bank, Al Ahli Bank, Saudi Fransi Bank, Al Riyad Bank, Al Jazira Bank, Emirates NBD, Alinma Bank, Saudi Home Loans, Dar Al Tamleek, Abdulalatif Jameel Finance, Saudi Fransi for Finance, Nayifat Finance Company, Flexible Murabaha Finance, Al-Jabr Financing Company, and Raya Financing Company.
Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, registered 15 percent growth in Q1 2019 net profit, reaching Dh2.7 billion on the back of higher income and improved margins. Total Income of Dh4.7 billion improved 15 percent year-on-year due to loan growth, an improvement in margins and higher fee income.
In November last year, Emirates NBD opened the second branch in Riyadh, taking its total network to four branches in the Kingdom. It is the largest geographical presence of the bank outside the UAE and Egypt. It also has offices in India, Singapore, and the UK and representative offices in China and Indonesia.
The bank provides a full offering to Saudi-based individual and businesses, including retail, private, business, and wholesale banking.
"Our significant and growing network is a reflection of our commitment to The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and support for Vision 2030. Building on the strong economic and trade ties between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, we hope to continue to serve and support the economic ambitions of Saudi individuals and businesses as the Kingdom forges ahead in its plans for economic transformation," Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, the vice-chairman and managing director of Emirates NBD, had said at the opening of the second branch in Riyadh.
"Sama calls upon the financial institutions under its supervision to fully comply with regulations and instructions, in a manner that does not affect the rights and interests of customers," the Saudi central bank said in a statement on its website.