(MENAFN - Arab News) .Saudi banks have completed processes to receive around 4 million requests from expatriates working in the private sector to open new bank accounts.
According to a new system of salaries protection launched recently and expected to be implemented soon by the Ministry of Labor, all companies in the private sector must transfer their employees' salaries to their bank accounts. However, there are still 4 million expatriates without bank accounts.
"The new system of salaries protection that has been launched by the ministry obliges all companies in the private sector to transfer the monthly salaries of employees to their bank accounts. It means all foreign employees should have bank accounts," Mohammed Aziz, a financial and bank expert, said.
Tal'at Hafiz, secretary general of the information committee for banking awareness, said: "All Saudi banks have completed their preparations to apply the new system of the Labor Ministry. Saudi banks are able to swallow the high number of requests expected to open news accounts according to the policies of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). Saudi banks have already a mechanism to deal with the salaries of employees, called the 'salary product'. Companies in the private sector will send a list of their employees to Saudi banks to open new accounts."
Previously, Saudi banks witnessed an influx of more than 15,000 Saudis who aimed to open bank accounts to receive financial assistance under the Hafiz program. This caused a crisis for all bank branches.
At the same time, Saudi banks started establishing a new system to receive requests from expatriates to open bank accounts. Private sector companies will send a list of their employees, who must have accounts to receive their salaries, and Saudi banks will subsequently send a final application to an expatriate employee to sign it, according to local media.
"We already transfer the salaries of our employees to their bank accounts every month. However, for those employees who still have no bank accounts, we issue checks," Mohammed Salmeen, a human resources manger in the private sector, said.
"The new system will push us to stop giving checks to our employees. We will advise our employees who still have no bank accounts to open their own account to receive their monthly salaries," he added.
Expatriate employees who receive their salaries on their bank account will not be able to withdraw money if their iqama has expired.
"The account must have credibility and legitimacy through the validity of the client's documents. The banks communicate with clients before their accounts are frozen. According to banking policies in Saudi Arabia, account freezing is applied on any client whose identification documents have expired," the secretary general of the information committee for banking awareness said.