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SAMA takes new steps to help private sector, individuals

RIYADH, March 30, 2020

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama) has approved a package of new measures supporting the efforts to mitigate the impacts of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on various economic sectors.
 
SAMA said the measures include supervisory and precautionary policies to support banks to focus on providing the best services to their customers and meet their financing needs, said a Saudi Presss Agency report.
 
SAMA said it is important for banks to support their customers at this time, to enable them to confront the impacts of the COVID-19 spread. It is also important to support the private sector firms in their cash flow, it said.
 
The new measures include:
* Supporting and financing the private sector by taking precautionary measures that are in the interest of the customer, the bank, and the economy, whether by adjusting or restructuring the current funds without any additional costs or fees to enable them continue their operations;
* Support and finance the private sector in maintaining the employment levels at entities affected by the Coronavirus through providing funds needed;
* Providing necessary support for individual customers who have lost their jobs in the private sector;
* Exempting all customers from fees for conducting operations through electronic channels, from fees for below-minimum balance, and from any fees imposed on refinancing operations or termination of existing agreements (whether through financing or by deposits), for a period of at least six months;
* Reviewing interest rates and other fees on credit cards, whether for current or new customers, in line with the current low interest rates due to the economic circumstances;
* Refunding any foreign exchange transfer fees imposed by banks on customers who wish to cancel the transaction or who have cancelled travel-related reservations, which were paid by credit cards or cards linked to their current accounts (mada) or prepaid option.
 



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