The kingdom is close to acquiring a permanent membership in Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for having one of the best safety financial standards globally, revealed a Saudi banking source, knowing that VAT has become applicable in the beginning of January without any challenges.
Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the media and banking awareness committee of the Saudi banks and Saudi Banks spokesman, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the kingdom was subjected to several assessments by the FATF team, and it is now a watching member that is expected to acquire a permanent membership soon.
“Saudi Arabia used to be a member at FATF through the GCC. Due to its accomplishments on the level of liquidity, efficiency and combating money-laundering, The Kingdom has reached a good standard and good ranking, under which the financial sector ranked fourth in the world. It preceded Canada, Australia and Singapore,” stated Hafiz.
On the level of banking efforts, Hafiz said that the intensive campaigns have surrounded financial deceit and limited it greatly, noting that the number of complaints received during the first 10 months of 2017 didn’t exceed 168 complaints. This represents a remarkable success compared to 2015. Speaking about liquidity in Saudi banks, Hafiz assured that the Saudi banks enjoy a solid financial position, not to mention that the banking sector financial safety indicators are considered among the best globally.
Hafiz continued that, “The volume of assets and liabilities are assuring. The condition will continue to be the same due to the banks’ unique management of liquidity and risks, along with the follow-up of Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA)."
Saudi banks are exerting restless efforts to combat money-laundering, confirmed Hafiz, not only on the level of local banks in the kingdom but also on the level of internal and security bodies, even SAMA.