RIYADH: Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) has launched an independent investigation into alleged irregularities linked to the payment of employee bonuses. A senior director at the bank, Mohamad Abdulhadi, has retired it also emerged.
The Riyadh-based bank is part-owned by the giant French lender Credit Agricole which last month said it would sell about half of its 31.1 percent stake for SR5.76 billion ($1.54 billion) to Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family.
The bank’s inquiry is said to be aimed at strengthening transparency relating to employee incentives and to ensure they comply with the regulatory framework.
According to a statement posted on the Tadawul website, “The BSF board of directors have announced the launching of the probe (over) complaints regarding the flouting of norms in a number of operations, which were carried out in previous years resulting in violation of the approved employees’ incentive policy.”
The board has formed “an independent team of specialists to thoroughly examine the irregularities.”
BSF added it was taking corrective measures to prevent any reoccurrence.
The bank said it did not envisage significant changes to its financial statements, adding it was fully committed to meeting the regulatory requirements of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and other supervisory agencies. “Further developments in this regard shall be announced by the bank,” the statement said.
Asked about the departure of Mohamad Abdulhadi, a BSF spokesman said that “Abdulhadi has resigned after serving the bank for several years.”
On its website, BSF said it was a full service commercial bank serving the local and international banking needs of its clients. “It is a leading provider of comprehensive financial services and products in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other markets.”