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Mr. Swaied Alzahrani

Mr. Swaied Alzahrani

Chief Executive Officer

In 2020 , Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH) celebrates its 18 years of great achievements and remarkable contributions to Saudi finance and healthier credit practices.

Total number of consumers reports stored in SIMAH database until end of 2019 is more than 17 million which explains Saudi Arabia Depth of Credit Information Index being 8 out of 8 in 2020. By achieving maturity of credit information industry, maximal stability of existing financial systems and build credit industry perception through promoting it as a neutral towards the local community and adding to the national economy, SIMAH works in 2019 to meet Saudi 2030 Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) objectives of highlighting the competitive position of the Saudi Arabia’s financial sector in the Middle East and in the world, enhancing best practices of credit information sharing industry based on reciprocity principles and in accordance with the Credit Information Law and its Implementing Regulation and tackling credit challenges in Saudi credit market so as to contribute to attracting investment in the Saudi financial sector.

Regionally, SIMAH and the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau (Benefit) have signed an agreement to share credit information. It is the first cross-border exchange of its kind in the MENA region. The bilateral agreement seeks to strengthen the supervisory roles entrusted to government regulating bodies and other related parties to protect the financial sector from the risks of improper financing practices, and to provide an efficient and reliable information infrastructure.

SIMAH has become the first credit-reporting agency in the MENA region to have its own commercial trademarks in 2019. Established in 2002, operated since 2004 and issued more than 104 million credit reports since 2004 up to the end of 2019 with data quality score of % 99.4, SIMAH’s newly trademarks come as a further phase of SIMAH new identity. New trademarks registered by Ministry of Commerce and Investment crystalize FINDATA ( a new innovative marketing concept in the credit reporting industry) ; SIMATI ( consumer reporting system ) ; SIMAT ( commercial reporting system) and MOARIF ( Legal Entity Identifier).

SIMAH has long realized the need to be adaptive and agile in its relationship with consumers and revealed the biggest perception and consumer experience study in 2020 to validate its current position and engineer its future strategy. The research was commissioned in the 2nd half of 2019, analyzed and revealed outcomes in 2020. The study covered over 13 administrative regions and a sample size of over 3500, making it the biggest and most comprehensive research ever conducted by SIMAH since 2004. 93% of the potential & current B2C consumers researched were aware of SIMAH and an overall high perception index of 59, an evidence of the vitality of the brand by relentless targeting of campaigns over time and SIMAHs obsession with consumer centricity. 71% of participants agree that SIMAH facilitates financial monitoring while 67% agree that SIMAH is an important entity. 61% of participants believe that SIMAH helps people manage their finances better.

MOARIF is the first Local Operating Unit in the MENA region accredited by Global Legal Entity Identifier Originations ( GLIEF) and run by SIMAH to cover 18 countries. Data quality and comprehensives of MOARIF reached 100 % in 2019.

In 2020 and in accordance with its pioneer role in credit information industry in MENA region to satisfy national requirements, His Excellency the Former Governor of the Saudi Central bank(SAMA) Dr. Ahmad Alkholifey inaugurates SIMAH National Trade Repository (SNTR). SNTR is concerned with the preservation of data for Over-The-Counter (OTC) derivatives. SIMAH becomes the first ever credit bureau in MENA region to run business of OTC derivatives. The 2008-2009 crisis made it abundantly clear that we did not have an accurate picture of risk concentrations in the global financial system. Reporting of exposures was mainly aggregated, on a consolidated basis, and confined within borders. Thanks to SNTR, this is now changing rapidly for Saudi market due to wise supervisory roles played by SAMA and new reporting mechanisms set out in SNTR. SNTR comes to realize directions of G20 Leaders in 2009 Pittsburgh Summit while it coincides also with Saudi Arabia international hosting of 2020 G 20.

To spread credit culture in Saudi market according to best international practices, SIMAH has participated on the National Strategy of Financial Literacy led by Saudi Central bank( SAMA) and SME Financing Awareness Program led by Small and Medium Enterprises “Monshaat”.

Figures of SIMAH Care in 2018 and 2019 embodies our national strategic objective to raise credit awareness; preserve consumers’ rights and accentuate our neutrality. We believe in SIMAH that one of the most important factors in care centers is not only achieving significant numbers and targets though this goes without saying ; it is the stability, continuity, strategic vision and expansion with innovative solutions. SIMAH Care now is thought of to be front-line of SIMAH image to deal with all consumers. Total beneficiaries of SIMAH Care in 2018 – 2019 reached 520,658 beneficiaries.

To carry out SIMAH strategic vision of increasing public satisfactory level of consumers, a new survey has been conducted by SIMAH Care and figures are really encouraging. Out of 166,271 consumers, 40,178 participated in the survey in 2019 . 98 % of callers was satisfied with agents while 82.4 was satisfied with SIMAH overall products & services. SIMAH Care has received a total number of disputing cases of 91,448 and all of them were closed. Turnaround Time (TAT) for dispute decreased remarkably from 21 days at the begging of 2018 to 3 days at the end of 2019. Percentage of Total Closed Disputes till 31st December 2019 is 96%.

Total answered calls in 2018 and 2019 are 331,041 with an Average Response Rate (ARR) of 94% and an Average Handling Time ( AHT) of 2.40 Minutes.

To realize its members' commercial needs, SIMAH has developed notification services, benchmarks reports and SIMAH 360. SIMAH has generated more than 2.7 million notifications in 2019 while the total number of consumers registered at SIMAH is more than 1.2 million individuals.

Benchmarking reports are detailed reports that compare key metrics of the organization’s products and portfolio to the competitors. With this type of report, credit providers would be more able to prepare budgets, make informed business decisions & develop business forecasting. SIMAH 360 provides tools to analyze large batches of data and credit information and to develop clear strategies to achieve customer demands. This helps strengthen the decision-making process; reduce credit risk and increase profitability; increase the company's market share; create new, diversified products and develop its current product line. SIMAH 360 includes accurate information on more than 200 variables, including up-to-date credit performance information, SIMAH's assessment of creditworthiness (i.e. SIMAH score), geographical information and contact information derived from SIMAH's comprehensive database.

I am really pleased to be part of the successful team working together to achieve SIMAH’s ultimate goals. With over 130 employees from across the globe, SIMAH is an equal opportunity employer who recognizes the importance of diversity in the workplace. With more than 32% of the workforce as women, SIMAH offers great opportunities for women to participate and be a part of a vibrant and inspiring multicultural firm. We believe that competent employees will lead to more productivity, and in this manner optimize the SIMAH’S performance.

Finally, I want to seize this opportunity to express sincere appreciations to SAMA for their valuable guidance and wise directions. Gratitude is due to SIMAH’s Board of Directors for their strategic leadership. True thanks are extended really to our members who become partners towards sound and mature finance market. In conclusion, I have the honor to recognize and value the management team and all staff of SIMAH for their true endeavors in developing and achieving SIMAH’s objectives.