Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and his council of ministers have approved a law to change the name and responsibilities of its main financial regulator and central bank.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) will now be known as the Saudi Central Bank (SCB).
The rebranding will also see a change in the regulator’s responsibility as well its composition and its reporting lines.
The new law gives the bank a broadened mandate through three objectives – maintaining monetary stability, promoting confidence in the financial sector and supporting economic growth.
The latter responsibility is designed to give the SCB a role in supervising the fintech sector and encouraging more innovation.
The central bank will now report directly to the king and not any government agency, a change which authorities claim will give it more independence by setting financial policy, managed by the Ministry of Finance, apart from financial policy, managed by the bank.
“The new law enhances the role of the Saudi Central Bank, meets today's requirements, keeps pace with the rapid global economic and financial development, and is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 that aims to make the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia an exemplary and leading nation in all aspects,” stated the SCB.
Despite the name change, the SAMA acronym will be retained for now while any coins or notes bearing the SAMA insignia will remain as legal tender.
The central bank will also continue to follow the US federal reserve currency rate, in line with other Gulf Cooperation Council states.
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