Saudis on social media  Wednesday praised Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin for saying the nation's banks are not doing enough for the poor.
Prince Muqrin questioned the banks' commitment to social development, despite making record profits, at a press conference on Tuesday during a ceremony organized by the King Khaled Charity Foundation in Riyadh .
Abdulkareem Alneqez said: “Prince Muqrin has hit the nail on the head with this irritating question, which our banks would like to pretend they didn’t hear. This question will shut them up, and echo in bankers' ears.”
Fahd Alestaa commented: “Regardless of who’s responsible for the poor in our country , banks have come up with various tricks to empty people’s wallets.”
Tamim Al-Zahrani remarked: “The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency should enact a law committing banks to charitable community services across the country.”
Waleed bin Saud said: “Prince Muqrin has pressed the right buttons. SAMA can control banks and order them to contribute to the development of our society.”
Abdullah Al-Kuowaileet gave his viewpoint: “Our banks are like parasites. They don’t pay taxes and would love to charge you for the oxygen you inhale if they could.”
Mushari Al-Sairi asked a relevant question: “We all know that Prince Muqrin has spoken the truth, but what is the government going to do about it? This is the real question now.”
Local media reported that Prince Muqrin's comments on Tuesday appeared to be an effort to show sensitivity to the difficulties of ordinary Saudi citizens, many of whom face a shortage of affordable housing and an unemployment rate that was officially at 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Prince Muqrin said of the banks: “They are on the short side in many things. They give little compared to the benefits they receive from citizens and from the state,” he said, responding to a question on the possibility of setting up banks for the poor.Saudi commercial banks recorded record profits in 2013 of SR37.6 billion, a 7 percent increase from 2012.