Sama faces ire of female bankers

Mothers should be able to open accounts for children, they say.

Female bankers in Saudi Arabia have launched a rare attack on the Gulf kingdom's central bank, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama), for not allowing women to open a current account for their children at local banks.

The bankers from various Saudi banks and financial institutions said mothers are still not allowed to open an account for their children in any local bank without approval by their father, according to reports published in Saudi newspapers.

"During a meeting at the Banking Institute in Riyadh yesterday, the female banking leaders criticised Sama for not allowing mothers to open a current account for their own children at Saudi banks without approval from the father," the papers quoted the women as saying in a statement.

"Sama is only causing confusion in such matters... This is pushing many mothers to take their money abroad to open a current account for their children at foreign banks... it is the right of every mother to open such an account for her children."

The papers quoted a senior female banker at National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Arabia's largest bank by assets, as saying it was time for Sama to change its long-standing rules.

"A growing number of women are becoming upset about such rules," said Muna Rumaizan, head of NCB's private female banking services in a statement.

"It has become a pressing need for Sama to drop that rule and allow mothers to open such accounts."


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