SIMAH, the Saudi Credit Bureau, was established in 2002 Initially formed as a limited liability company by 10 banks, SIMAH was created to act as a data aggregator, providing a comprehensive system of credit information, provided by the banks, in order that this credit information may be exchanged easily between them. Acting as an official source of credit reports for companies and individuals alike, SIMAH works to remove uncertainty from credit transactions, thereby actively contributing to the soundness and stability of the financial sector.
The idea to establish an independent Saudi Arabian credit bureau was first conceived at the end of 1998. Shortly after, a team of specialists was formed to further explore the concept, working closely with the International Finance Corporation – a member of the World Bank Group – to lay out the initial framework. Looking at several credit bureaus and consumer reporting agencies around the world, the team identified the necessary steps and technological system to be implemented in order to establish a bureau and overcome any barriers, technical or otherwise, to its success.
SIMAH began operations in 2004, thus becoming the first credit bureau licensed under the supervisory umbrella of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and marking a true leap foward towards reducing credit risk in the Kingdom. SIMAH's work centres around the collection, categorization and analysis of its members' credit information, applying the Credit Information Law and its implementing regulations within the context of the current banking act and regulations issued by SAMA.