Saudi banks have revealed that Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency’s (SAMA) announcement on the maximum limit of fees for banking services does not bind banks to exercise their right to reduce fees for services provided to their customers.
Instead, banks are obliged not to charge more than the maximum limit for the fees of the services concerned.
Secretary-General of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee for Saudi Banks Talat Hafez told Asharq al-Awsat that SAMA has set service fees at the retail sector level, but it didn’t set the maximum limit in terms of financing.
He said loans are determined by many factors, including those related to the market, the cost of money at banks, and several other elements.
As for public services, most of which are provided to individuals, Hafez said SAMA has set binding limits for all banks, such as revealing the cost of an account statement or the cost of issuing an ATM card.
“SAMA has asked banks not to exceed the specified fee limit for any of their services,” he explained.
However, the Saudi banks' spokesman added, it has given Saudi banks the right to reduce these fees by receiving less than the fees specified in any of the services concerned according to the nature and evaluation of the relationship between the bank and the customer.
One of the instructions SAMA has issued is for Saudi banks to provide a statement of these fees in a prominent place in the banking branch in order to enhance transparency so that any customer can access them easily and without restrictions.
Hafez said SAMA’s step comes in line with regulating the relationship between banks and their customers and providing full transparency that fosters trust for beneficiaries.