Overview of Banks in Saudi Arabia
There are 24 licensed banks in Saudi Arabia, consisting of 12 local banks and 12 branches of foreign banks. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), the kingdom’s central bank, oversees the operations of commercial banks in Saudi Arabia. The SAMA is also responsible for issuing the country’s national currency (Saudi rial), managing the country’s foreign exchange reserves, promoting price and exchange rate stability, and ensuring the growth and soundness of the domestic financial industry.
There are four types of banks in Saudi Arabia:
- Commercial banks
- Industrial banks
- Agricultural banks
- Real estate banks
According to Moody’s, Saudi Arabia’s banking system is stable due to easing funding pressures and high absorption buffers.
For anyone considering a career in banking in Saudi Arabia, this list of top banks in Saudi Arabia is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our lists of financial institutions.
The top banks in Saudi Arabia are:
National Commercial Bank
Incorporated in 1953, National Commercial Bank, also known as AlAhli Bank, is the largest of the banks in Saudi Arabia and is considered a pioneer in Islamic banking. Headquartered in Jeddah, it employs 8,035 staff and serves more than 5 million customers through its 374 branches.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$117 billion and posted a net profit US$2.5 billion.
Al Rajhi Banking Corporation
Al Rajhi Bank provides Islamic, personal, auto and home financial banking services, and corporate banking investment solutions in Saudi Arabia. It is headquartered in Riyadh.
The bank employs 9,000 staff in its 500 branches. It is also present in Malaysia, Kuwait, and Jordan. As of 2016, the bank’s total assets were US$90.6 billion and net profit was US$2.2 billion.
Samba was founded in 1980 and is into providing financial services in the kingdom. The bank manages 72 branches in Saudi Arabia, one branch each in London, Qatar, and Dubai, as well as 28 branches in Pakistan. It is present in GCC, Europe, and South Asia, including Dubai, Qatar, and Pakistan.
As of 2016, the total assets of the bank amounted to US$61.7 billion and net profit reached US$1.3 billion.
The bank came into existence in 1957 and is headquartered in Riyadh. It offers retail and corporate customers wide-ranging products and services that are fully compliant with Islamic Sharia law. The bank is considered the leading financier and arranger of syndicated loans for oil, petrochemicals, and infrastructure projects among the banks in Saudi Arabia.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$58.0 billion and a net profit of US$891 million.
Banque Saudi Fransi
Established in 1977, Banque Saudi Fransi offers local and international banking services to its clients. The bank employs 3,000 staff in its 83 branches. It is headquartered in Riyadh and manages three regional offices in Jeddah, Al-Riyadh, and Al-Khob.
As of 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$54.2 billion and net profit reached US$936 million.
Saudi British Bank
Saudi British Bank was formed in 1978 and is headquartered in Riyadh. It is a Joint Stock Company and is an associated company of the HSBC Group. The bank offers investment banking, commercial banking, private banking, and Islamic banking services. It operates a branch in London.
As of 2016, the total assets of the bank were US$49.6 billion and net profit US$1,038 million.
Arab National Bank
Founded in 1979, Arab National Bank is headquartered in Riyadh. The bank offers comprehensive commercial and investment banking services, in addition to specialized services in the fields of heavy equipment leasing and home finance.
It runs regional offices in Jeddah and Khobar, and a branch in London. It serves around 2 million customers through its 95 branches. It employs around 4,400 employees and operates through the following segments: Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Treasury Banking, Investment and Brokerage Services, and Others.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$45.3 billion and a net profit US$763 million.
Alawwal Bank was established in 1926, making it one of the oldest banks in Saudi Arabia. The bank provides banking and investment services in the kingdom. It operates through its Corporate Banking, Personal Banking, Investment Banking and Investment Services, and Central Treasury and ALCO segments. Headquartered in Riyadh, it employs around 2,600 individuals and operates through a network of 65 branches. In 2016, it was renamed from Saudi Hollandi Bank to Alawwal Bank.
As of 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$28 billion and net profit reached US$283 million.
Alinma Bank was founded in 2006. The bank provides banking and investment services through its 76 branches. It operates through various segments: Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Treasury, and Investment and Brokerage.
As of 2016, the total assets of the bank were US$28.0 billion and net profit was US$400 million.
Saudi Investment Bank
Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Riyadh. The bank provides investment and banking services. It also offers wholesale, retail, and commercial banking products. It specifically arranges financing for quasi-government and private industrial sectors, and trade finance products for importers and exporters.
SAIB employs around 1,600 staff across the world. Shareholders in the publicly-listed bank include J. P. Morgan Chase, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Saudi public and private institutions, as well as Saudi citizens.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$25.0 billion and a net profit of US$280 million.
Careers in investment banking
To break into investment banking, there are several important things to focus on. These include networking, resume, experience, and financial modeling skills. To learn more, explore our interactive career map….
For banking careers, you will have a significant edge over the competition with our financial modeling courses.
This has been CFI’s guide to the top banks in Saudi Arabia. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: