Due to higher charges on transferring the money, the overseas employees are allowed to open accounts in Saudi Arabia. It is advisable for the expats to get a letter of introduction from the employer as an essential document to be submitted in order to get a hand on a local bank account. As the banking sector is progressing in the Kingdom a number of Saudi and foreign banks are offering both business and personal banking services at affordable charges. In the recent years, the Islamic Banking services have been updated to cater the needs of the account holders.[irp]
According to the latest development, the Interior Ministry has warned the residents and the nationals to keep check and balance of their bank accounts so that nobody intends to use them for terrorism related purposes. The banking facilities are very advanced and it’s the responsibility of the bank to keep a vigilant eye on the progress of every individual’s account proceedings. The Ministry also reinforces the idea that all the citizens should be very careful in using their bank accounts to avoid any kind of risky situation.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has already launched its website to inform the expats and the residents about the new orders given by the Interior Ministry. As informed by the official spokes person on the behalf of the Interior Ministry, many of the foreigners who were employed in Saudi Arabia are found using their bank accounts even after their departure from the Kingdom.
Several accounts are still activated and there is serious call to deactivate all the currents accounts as it poses great security risk to Saudi Arabia. The responsible authorities should make sure that all the bank accounts allotted to the expats should be closed prior to their departure from the Kingdom. This action will ensure that nobody can have access to their account for any kind of financial transactions once it has been closed by the bank.
Nayef Al-Marwani, basically a security expert said that the expats activated accounts causes a lot of alarming situations as they are no more in the Kingdom and anyone can misuse their account for any dangerous purposes. He further explained that how many of the terrorism related cases are dependent on modes of electronic finance which prove to catalyze the events that took place on Sep 11, 2001 in the U.S. This may come as an additional task for the bank authorities but in actual these brief steps will protect the nation from alarming emergency situations.[irp]
A formal notification has been sent to all the local and foreign banks to ensure the implementation of the new policy. There is additional action taken to make the process convenient, both for the expats and the banking personnel. According to which an expat would be issued a visa prior to the departure only once the expat has closed and cleared the bank account which was in his/her usage. Since a visa is the most important document, every expat will abide by the rules religiously ensuring a smooth departure from Saudi Arabia.
Source: Arab News