Is SAMA freezing expat bank accounts with high transactions?

People are saying on social media that Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has asked banks operating in Saudi Arabia to freeze expatriate accounts of the following two categories;

  1. Expats whose bank transactions exceed their wages registered with GOSI.
  2. Expats whose bank transactions do not correlate with their Iqama profession.

SAMA Clarification

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has clarified that there is no truth in reports about the freezing of bank accounts of expatriate workers whose financial transactions exceed their wages.

SAMA stated that all banks operating in Saudi Arabia are complying with the procedure set by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and they will continue to do so.

In case a non-compliance is detected there, the case will be dealt with according to the procedures already set by SAMA.

Is there anything to worry about?

If your banking transactions are for legitimate reasons, there is nothing to worry about even if they exceed your monthly salary or mismatch with your Iqama profession.

However, if you are running a business without registration and receiving funds in your bank account, the authorities will take an action sooner or later.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.