Liability of Credit Information Companies For Their Credit Activities
Credit information, whether for natural or corporate persons, involves significant privacy issues. Such information encompasses data and information relating to consumer loans, installment purchases, credit reporting, and other relevant financial information. The Saudi Credit Information Law codifies the rules and regulations for gathering and exchanging credit information and regulates its protection in the Kingdom in accordance with Credit Information Law 1429H.
According to Article 6 of the Credit Information Law, there is a general obligation imposed on companies operating in this field to maintain confidentiality of the credit information which may not be published or used in other than the statutory purposes specified by the Regulations.
Article 12 of the Credit Information Law sets forth the most important regulatory prohibitions that Credit Information Companies must observe, which is the requirement to obtain prior authorization from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). These companies must strictly adhere to all of the terms and conditions of the SAMA license.
A company and its employees engaged in this activity are not permitted to disclose credit information contrary to the provisions of the Credit Information Law. It is strictly prohibited to use or exploit credit information for any illegal purpose or contrary to the provisions of the Law. One of the most important prohibitions is making false statements about persons. If a violation occurs, the Saudi regulator has a range of specific penalties set forth in the Credit Information Law.
Article 13 of the Law contains these penalties. Any person who commits any violation of the Law and its Implementing Regulations shall be subject to one or more of the following penalties: a fine not exceeding One Million Riyals, and the maximum fine shall be doubled in case of repetition; (2) suspension of the license for a particular period of time; and (3) revocation of the license. The punishments provided shall not interfere with any more severe punishment provided for by any other relevant law.