Guide to Banking in Saudi Arabia |

Guide to Banking in Saudi Arabia

If you’re a new expat in KSA, here’s some information to help you get your bank account set up.

Posted on

17 July 2017

Last updated on 17 July 2017
Guide to Banking in Saudi Arabia

Opening a bank account is one of the main tasks that expats have to get done. You will first need to obtain your residency before being able to open an account.

Documents needed

You’ll need to set it up in person as there will be forms to be signed.
Some of the main documents needed include:

  • A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your employer
  • Your passport
  • Your residence permit (iqama)
  • Proof of address in the country, usually a tenancy contract

Family members

Generally, family members being sponsored can open their own bank accounts as well, provided that they have permission from the husband or father after they have their NOC. There are exception, such as in Al Rajhi and Riyad Bank, where there is a dedicated Ladies Banking unit.


Due to Islamic law, there is no interest to be charged by the banks on balances and there are normally no high interest rates on loans. Additionally, banks don’t really let account holders accumulate debt.
Cash withdrawals, mobile & phone banking, debit card, cheque book and statements should all be free of charge.

Authorised Banks

There are a total of 24 licensed banks in Saudi Arabia – 12 local and 12 foreign.

List of local banks

  • The National Commercial Bank
  • The Saudi British Bank
  • Saudi Investment Bank
  • Alinma bank
  • Banque Saudi Fransi
  • Riyad Bank
  • Samba Financial Group (Samba)
  • Saudi Hollandi Bank
  • Al Rajhi Bank
  • Arab National Bank
  • Bank AlBilad
  • Bank AlJazira

List of foreign banks

  • Gulf International Bank (GIB)
  • Emirates NBD
  • National Bank of Bahrain (NBB)
  • National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)
  • Muscat Bank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • BNP Paribas
  • J.P. Morgan Chase N.A
  • National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)
  • State Bank of India (SBI)
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)