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Digital bank backed by Saudi sovereign wealth fund gets approval

The D360 Bank, which aims to operate locally, will be the third digital bank in Saudi Arabia as the kingdom's diversification efforts continue.
Saudi bank

A new digital bank in Saudi Arabia received permission to operate today. 

The D360 Bank was approved by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It will be established with 1.65 billion Saudi Arabian riyals ($440 million) in initial capital, with key investment from the kingdom's Public Investment Fund. D360 Bank will be run by the Riyadh-based Derayah Financial Company, the Saudi Central Bank said in a press release. 

D360 Bank will be the third digital bank in Saudi Arabia, after Saudi authorities granted licenses to STC Bank and Saudi Digital Bank last June. A digital bank provides services via the internet on electronic devices. The bank’s operator, Derayah, is a business technology firm specialized in investment that conducts the majority of its operations online. 

The Saudi Central Bank said the new venture is in line with the Vision 2030 initiative, a brainchild of the crown prince that aims to diversify the Saudi economy and reduce dependence on oil. 

Earlier this month, the kingdom announced a $6.4 billion investment in metaverse, blockchain and other futuristic technologies. In January, the Public Investment Fund launched a competitive video game group.

Saudi Arabia is not the only country in the region to experiment with digital banking. Israel’s first digital bank opened last year. Last week, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates approved a new digital banking platform. 

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