Al-Rajhi Opens 12 New Tahweel Centers

RIYADH, 23 January 2007 — Al-Rajhi Bank has opened 12 new exchange and transfer centers across the Kingdom as part of its ambitious expansion plan.

The new high-tech customer-friendly Tahweel Al-Rajhi centers at premium locations have started functioning, offering the whole range of products and services to customers including remittance services, demand drafts, traveler’s checks, local transfers and debit account remittance, Abdul Aziz M. Al-Sedeas, the new chief of Tahweel Al-Rajhi centers, said here yesterday.

A brilliant banker with managerial experience, Abdul Aziz, who has now taken over the operation of Tahweel Al-Rajhi centers, has a new vision and a new mission — “Going near to customers.”

He said that “the customers can also now access Internet banking called Al-Rajhi Mubasher, while using more than 1,400 Al-Rajhi’s automatic teller machines (ATMs) for many other services.”

Referring to the move to open new remittance centers, he said that the new centers were part of the ongoing expansion plan to put up more than 100 Tahweel centers by the end of 2007. The new centers are located in Afif and Shagra in Qassim and Hail region, Al-Shomaishi and Hail Badr in Central region, Al-Amarah, Al-Jouf, Al-Qurayat and Arar in Madinah and North region, Al-Qunfeza in Taif & Baha region and Corniche, Mesfalah and Allayth in Western region.

Abdul Aziz said “the network of Tahweel centers is growing very fast and we currently have 80 centers catering to the needs of Saudis and residents across the Kingdom.” “We are committed to provide our customers the best exchange rate, the best charges with an excellent service,” said the Tahweel Al-Rahi chief, while appreciating the trust of hundreds of thousands of expatriates, who have been sending their hard-earned money through Al-Rajhi Bank. “And this is the reason that Al-Rajhi has emerged as the market leader in terms of number and volume of remittances,” he added.

The new Al-Rajhi chief, who unveiled his future plans during the interview, said “the new year (2007) will be a challenging year for Tahweel Al-Rajhi as we are heading for major expansion, introduction of new products and services as well as launching a drive to improve customer services further.” The bank today has more than 400 branches besides a number of branches dedicated for women. This is in addition to over 1,400 ATMs, making it the largest banking network in the Kingdom.

The bank has grabbed a major share of the growing remittance market. Al-Rajhi Bank also offers remittance and draft facilities through its branches Kingdomwide. Referring to the remittances sent from the Kingdom, Abdul Aziz said the foreign workers have been remitting $16 billion annually to their home countries. This represent some 60 percent of the cumulative $27 billion transferred by expatriates from the six Gulf countries every year. The UAE makes up 16 percent with $4 billion a year, whereas Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain have the remaining $7 billion.

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