The Central Bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA) has finalized regulations for debt crowdfunding activities following a six-month market consultation period initiated in July 2020, finally joining regional peers Bahrain and the UAE in formally regulating the burgeoning vertical.
Under the new rules, interested license applicants must have a minimum paid-up capital of SAR5 million (US$1.33 million). This requirement may be adjusted subject to market conditions, SAMA noted.
The release of the new rules is in line with Saudi Vision 2030 which focuses on economic development through diversification including liberalizing the Kingdom’s once insular financial sector. SAMA, which has undergone a rebranding following legal restructuring, has also taken the mantle to drive forward a fintech agenda.
The central bank continues to run a fintech regulatory sandbox and also recently implemented an open banking policy, through which it seeks to enhance the readiness of the financial sector’s technical infrastructure.