Do you wish to open a bank account in Saudi Arabia? Find all information regarding procedures in this article.
If you have decided to live and work in Saudi Arabia, opening a bank account can be very advantageous. For instance, you will not only be able to receive your salary but also settle your monthly bills and perform other transactions. So if you wish to open a bank account in the country, simply visit one of the numerous local banks along with the required documents.
Once on the spot, you will be provided with a bank account opening application form. You can choose to open any type of account, even a savings account. Other options such as checkbooks, cash cards, bank statements, etc., will be offered.
Moreover, you will need the following documents:
- a written authorization from your employer (No Objection Certificate) clearly indicating the amount of your salary,
- your Iqama (Residence Permit)
- your lease documents
- a photocopy of your passport,
- ID photos (number to be confirmed with the chosen bank)
- a duly filled and signed application form.
In case your spouse or adult children also want to open a bank account, they must have your written authorization. The NOC does not apply.
Good to know:
In general, Saudi banks offer the automatic payment of bills and salary transfer to your account.
However, credit card applications have to be made separately, just like debit cards and checkbooks. Make sure to inquire first with the bank and to read the application form thoroughly beforehand.
Bank statements and checkbooks can be issued in English.
Small businesses are unlikely to accept card payments. In fact, cash is much more common in Saudi Arabia. Checks, for their part, are generally used to pay current bills.
Below is a list of local banks found around the country.
Arab National Bank (ANB): it is deemed to be one of the Middle-East's 10 biggest banks. It consists of 190 branches, including 42 for women.
Al Rajhi Bank: it is one of the world's biggest Islamic banks in terms of assets, including more than 550 branches and as many ATMs in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Jazira (AJB): this bank is mainly based on the Islamic law (Shari'ah).
Saudi Fransi Bank (SFB): it is a major international bank with many foreign clients.
Islamic Development Bank: it mainly operates according to the Islamic law (Shari'ah).
National Commercial Bank (NCB): it is the pioneer of Islamic banking in Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh Bank: it is one of the Middle-East's biggest banks, consisting of some 200 local branches and more than 1,500 ATMs.
Samba Financial Group: formerly known as the Saudi American Bank, it has firmly rooted in the Saudi financial market.
Saudi British Bank (SBB): this bank results from the merging of the British Bank with the Middle East Bank.
Saudi Hollandi Bank (SHB): it is the first established bank in Saudi Arabia. To date, it has 43 branches, including 8 which are reserved for women. It also has some 260 ATMs across the country.
Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB): this bank provides not only common services but also investment incentives and facilities.
United Saudi Bank (USB): it is one of Saudi Arabia's and the Middle-East's biggest banks.
List of foreign banks operating in Saudi Arabia
Below is a list of foreign banks which have successfully integrated the Saudi financial market:
Gulf International Bank (GIB) - Emirates NBD - National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) - National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) - Muscat Bank - Deutsche Bank - BNP Paribas - JP Morgan Chase NA - National Bank Of Pakistan (NBP) - State Bank of India (SBI) - TCZiraat BANKASI AS - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (business license to be obtained soon).
Expat.com - Saudi Arabia Forum
Saudi Hollandi Bank www.shb.com.sa
Riyad Bank www.riyadbank.com
Islamic Development Bank www.isdb.org
Emirates NDB www.emiratesnbd.com.sa
Deutsche Bank www.db.com
Banque Saudi Fransi www.alfransi.com.sa
Bank AlJazira www.baj.com.sa