Saudi Arabia’s central bank has announced that the Counsel of Ministers has granted licence to local digital lender D360 Bank.

Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) said that the new digital bank will commence business with an initial capital of SAR1.65bn ($440m). 

D360 Bank, which will be led by Derayah Financial Company, is backed by a consortium of corporate individual investors and also counts the Public Investment Fund as one of its key backers.

Two digital banks have already been granted licences, making D360 the third digital bank and taking the total number of operational banks in the country to 35.

In June 2021, the first digital banks in the Kingdom– STC Bank and Saudi Digital Bank received licences from the Saudi Cabinet.

The plan included converting STC Pay into STC Bank with a capital of SAR2.5bn ($666.7m) and setting up Saudi Digital Bank as a local bank with a capital of SAR1.5bn ($400m).

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In November 2021, SAMA Governor Fahd Al-Mubarak revealed plans to grant operating licenses to more digital banks.

SAMA has also licensed several financial institutions, including those operating in the fintech space, where 19 licenses have been approved for payment services, consumer microfinance and digital insurance brokerage.