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SAMA: SIMAH plays effective role in filling credit market gaps.

RIYADH: SAEED Al KHOTANI

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) Gov. Fahd Al-Mubarak, has lauded the role of the Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH) in the financial market. In his welcome address at the first decade anniversary celebration of SIMAH, organized Wednesday night in Riyadh, he noted that the bureau has played a remarkable role during the past ten years that were characterized by unprecedented growth in the activities of all sectors of the economy kingdomwide, "For decades, we were lacking adequate credit information on individuals and companies which are an essential pillar for the safety of the credit activity in the economy. To fill this gap, and because safety of the credit market, and the economy as a whole, is a top priority for the country, SIMAH was established under SAMA's supervision and regulation," he said. "The objective was to collect reliable credit information on individuals and institutions and with their prior consent to disseminate relevant information to any party needing it. The methodologies and bylaws were approved by SAMA, to preserve the right of all parties involved in these services," he added. He mentioned that the establishment of SIMAH and its contribution was evident in facilitating the credit granting decisions, decreasing the dead debts, and creating equality in granting credit. SIMAH CEO Nabil Al-Mubarak presented a detailed power point account giving an overview of the history of the company and its achievements. He said that SIMAH was founded in 2004 as a limited liability company with 12 employees with a related information service named Simati to develop into a giant shareholding company, run by 108 employees in 2014 with around nine individuals and corporate information services. A new mobile smartphone and tablet app were also launched through which its services were provided to its clients. He added that subscribers in the SIMAH rose from under 10 banks in 2004 to almost 200 companies and government agencies by 2014, and that the number of inquiries handled has risen sharply to over 35 million covering almost 100 percent many sectors of the economy like banking, government funds, vehicles and telecom. Al-Mubarak mentioned that the most impressive achieve of SIMAH was its contribution to fight the bounced check phenomenon. Based on the Cabinet decree to criminalize issuance of checks with no balance in bank accounts, the SIMAH organized a comprehensive public awareness campaign in 2009, covering media, advertisements and seminars. This has contributed toward reducing the number and value of bouncing checks from around SR15 billion in that year to less than SR4 billion in 2012. At conclusion, a host of distinguished government and private sector financial, economic, and business leaders were honored. They included former SAMA Gov. Hamad Al-Sayyari, Mohammed Al-Jasser, minister of economy and planning, former Saudi Capital Market Authority Chairman Jammaz Al-Suhaimi, current SAMA Gov. Fahad Al-Mubarak, and SIMAH's Chairman Hazim Al-Mugrin and CEO Nabil Al-Mubarak.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Dec 6, 2014
Words:490
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