The Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH) and BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, announced the initiation of the Electronic Exchange of Credit Information project between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The announcement comes as a result of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) decision at the Council’s meeting in its 37th session of the year 2016,  which approved the exchange of credit information between the GCC states. This is in accordance with a comprehensive framework and plan outlining the mechanism to facilitate this exchange among the GCC states.

The project aims to enhance transparency for financial transactions at the GCC level, and provide financial tools to reduce credit risks associated with financial transactions of all economic activities. The initiative promotes the growth of these activities, and improves the quality of financial intermediation in the Gulf, which increases the level of economic growth in general.

His Excellency Mr. Rasheed bin Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), stressed the importance of this initiative, which is in line with the collective vision and royal directives to develop and enhance commercial transactions and economic performance in both countries.

Furthermore, the initiative provides decision-making support processes for commercial relations and partnerships integrated with an advanced information system and audited data provided by the authorities handling credit information reports, which boosts confidence and transparency to unlock new opportunities for mutual business.

On his part, His Excellency, Dr Fahd bin Abdullah Al Mubarak, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), explained that the purpose of this initiative is to achieve the objectives of the financial sector agenda in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by launching strategic projects that enhance cooperation frameworks between the GCC countries, opening up greater investment opportunities and channels to  ensure stability and economic growth of those countries.

HE Dr Al Mubarak further stated that the financial industry relies on such strategic initiatives in hopes of increasing the level of transparency in financial transactions, resulting in enhanced company performance in accordance with the shared goals of the GCC countries.

Mr. Abdulwahed AlJanahi, Chief Executive of BENEFIT, expressed his gratitude to the leadership of both countries, and praised the rigorous efforts of the Central Bank of Bahrain and SAMA which contributed to the success of this monumental achievement. The initiative will play a key role in fostering trade exchange and advancing GCC economies as a whole.

Furthermore, Mr. AlJanahi stated that the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau, operated by BENEFIT, is working to complete the link with the rest of the GCC nations in collaboration with the central banks and relevant authorities and institutions in the GCC countries.

For his part, Mr. Swaied Al Zahrani, Chief Executive Officer of SIMAH, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the supervisory authorities in both countries for their continuous support in achieving the project’s objectives and facilitating procedures and policies.

Additionally, Mr. Al Zahrani praised the steps taken by the GCC countries towards expanding cooperation frameworks in many strategic and development projects to advance all economic aspects of the member states. He emphasised the permanence of SIMAH’s pursuit to establish local, regional and international partnerships which contribute to achieving collective goals, and keep pace with the developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The initiative was implemented to strengthen the role of the credit information industry, and serve as  a crucial pillar for control and supervision, boosting transparency, and contributing to the stability of the GCC nations’ financial sectors. Through this project, the supervisory authorities seek to spread more transparency, learn about the solvency of the business sector, and embody credit behaviours, while ensuring the protection and security of data exchanged and transmitted through the network of e-government centres for the GCC countries, an essential element to protect such data and information from the risks associated with it.