Saudi banks told to axe minimum account balance

Banks in Saudi Arabia are being forced to introduce more customer-friendly account rules, with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) requesting institutions axe their minimum threshold to open an account and banning charges for customers whose balance falls below SR1000 ($266).

The requirements were included in new banking tariff rules issued by SAMA on Saturday, local media reported.

Banks also were told not to impose any service fees for opening personal bank accounts, including issuing of cards, while customers who lose an ATM card can be charged SR30 for a replacement.

The new SAMA regulations covered client accounts, ATM cards, bank statement, cash withdrawal using withdrawal voucher, issuance of chequebooks and e-services.

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