The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Saudi Arabia considers three new banking licences

Applications to operate banks in Saudi Arabia show that consolidation has not shut the door to new entrants.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) is processing applications for three new banking licences in the country, showing scope for more banks to open in Saudi despite ongoing consolidation in the sector, its deputy governor said on Thursday.

Two are applications for traditional banking licences and one for a digital bank, according to Fahad Alshathri, deputy governor for supervision at SAMA, who was speaking on the sidelines of Euromoney’s Saudi Arabia conference in Riyadh.

Sector consolidation is a key focus across the Gulf, and Saudi Arabia is no exception. Earlier, Saudi British Bank (Sabb) and Alawwal completed the first bank merger in the country, while National Commercial Bank and Riyadh Bank are in ongoing talks.

However, Alshathri said that consolidation did not mean there was no room for new banks in Saudi. SAMA has already approved two new banking licences for Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered this year, as well as the three it is currently considering.

Speaking to bankers and investors at the conference, Alshathri noted that financial integration must make sense from both a market and a regulatory perspective. When evaluating the possibility of future mergers, he said that if there was value to be added, an integration would be considered.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree