From The Report: Saudi Arabia 2023
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Saudi Arabia’s banking sector is undergoing its first regulatory overhaul in over half a century. These changes, combined with regulatory sandboxes and support for financial technology (fintech) firms, mark a rapid transformation. Traditional banking methods face disruption as digital payments and smartphone banking surge, and the competitive landscape includes local and international institutions. The Saudi Central Bank, a well-respected regulator, has been working to support expansion in the sector, which has witnessed increased net profit and assets. Fintech inclusion in the 2023 draft banking law and the Open Banking Lab signal modernisation. While the prospect of unstable global inflation could present liquidity pressure, there are reasons for optimism in the Saudi banking sector.

This chapter contains interviews with Ayman Al Sayari, Governor, Saudi Central Bank; and Ibrahim Bin Hamad Al Rashi, CEO, Social Development Bank.