Riyadh — The Central Bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA) has announced the publication of rules governing the electronic issuance and verification of the authenticity of bank documents. This is part of its ongoing efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of electronic services provided to banking customers.

The aim is to facilitate financial transactions, save time and effort in obtaining bank documents and certificates, and build confidence in the authenticity of documents issued electronically.

SAMA said on Wednesday that the rules include requirements banks must meet before issuing bank documents.

In addition, banks are required to provide an electronic document verification service; an electronic verification service for the authenticity of the electronic and paper documents they issue. In addition, the document must also indicate any method available to electronically verify its authenticity.

SAMA pointed out that the rules set out the minimum bank documents to be issued electronically, which are most requested by customers, such as bank certificates, debt certificates and letters of non-liability.

SAMA stressed that banks must respect the processing times specified in the relevant instructions as well as put in place procedures and measures to ensure compliance with these rules. In this regard, SAMA said that the rules will come into effect from April 1, 2022.

On Tuesday, SAMA announced that it has updated the Rules of Practice for Debt Crowdfunding Activities. The update of these rules follows the public consultation published earlier on the Public consultation platform.

This step is part of SAMA’s continuous efforts to develop the financial sector and keep abreast of recent developments in the financial sector as well as to support Fintech which has led to the emergence of a number of Fintech companies.

SAMA clarified that the updated rules seek to redefine the beneficiary to include all commercial establishments registered in Saudi Arabia seeking funding through the debt crowdfunding platform.

It added the definition of aggregated accounts to ensure complete separation between funds from participants in the funding process and funds from the crowdfunding facility.

In addition, it determines the authorized ceiling for crowdfunding based on the capital criterion by amending article (28).

On Monday, the General Secretariat of the Banking and Financial Disputes and Offenses Commissions announced the launch of the Mediation Center for Banking and Financial Disputes.

The Mediation Center aims to implement Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods to resolve disputes arising from banking and financial transactions between licensed financial institutions and their customers by visiting the website www.bfc.gov.sa.

Such methods adopt friendly and pleasant approaches, while consolidating this notion among members of society. This would have a positive impact on the parties in conflict and contribute to the achievement of Saudi Vision 2030.

In addition, such a service allows the resolution of disputes in a short time with lower costs for the parties in conflict.

In addition, the General Secretariat of the Banking and Financial Disputes and Offenses Commissions emphasizes that the proposals of the Mediation Center will be based on a legal basis and on the judicial precedents and principles that underlie the Commissions Act. —SG