Muscat: Under the watchful gaze of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, the Sultanate of Oman marks its 53rd National Day with notable accomplishments across various sectors, reaffirming its commitments to realizing the goals outlined in Oman Vision 240. On this special occasion, Bank Muscat, the leading financial service provider in Oman, takes pride in being a standout accomplishment of the renaissance era, channeling all its resources and capabilities towards serving the nation and consistently aiding its advancement and growth. Over a period of 40 years, the bank – as a reliable banking partner- has contributed to the process of sustainable development through the products and banking solutions provided to various government and private institutions to implement different projects including economic projects. It has the largest asset management portfolio in the Sultanate of Oman, with assets under management (AUM) over $2.5 billion.
Over a period of 40 years, the bank – as a reliable banking partner - has contributed to the process of sustainable development through the products and banking solutions provided to various government and private institutions to implement different projects, including economic projects. It has the largest asset management portfolio in the Sultanate of Oman, with assets under management (AUM) over $2.5 billion.
The bank is proud of its contribution to the emergence of many small and medium-sized enterprises operating in various fields. Through its financial and management consultation services, Bank Muscat has become a house of expertise locally and regionally. It offers suitable solutions to institutions and business owners, further solidifying its pioneering stance in delivering the best innovative banking services and products. It will persist in attaining further successes in various domains based on the bank's vision "to serve you better every day," which focuses on prioritizing individual and corporate customers.
Substantial services for corporates and entrepreneurs
Bank Muscat has witnessed significant development in the services provided to government institutions and corporates. The bank is keen to provide the best banking experience to customers through innovative and diverse solutions and services that suit their requirements and business. During the past period, the bank launched a number of services, including those that can be availed through e-channels, in order to align with the digital transformation adopted by different institutions.
The bank has launched an integrated digital platform for banking transactions, providing a range of digital solutions for corporate and institutional customers, encompassing payment transactions, account services, collections and receivables, liquidity and trade services for companies, SMEs, and government institutions. With this new platform, customers get better control over funds from inside and outside the Sultanate and leverage the flexibility provided by direct deposit collection services or digital account solutions that enable customers to manage funds electronically through speed transfers and other tools available on the platform. Electronic corporate banking services are one of the solutions designed to help customers follow up on payment transactions in a safer manner. Available in English and Arabic, the platform is accessible, and it enables companies to view account details directly, upload account statements, and review transaction records. Customers can also process various types of transactions, including local and international transactions in Omani riyals and foreign currencies, single payments, uploading payroll files and wholesale suppliers, in addition to special payments related to credit cards and invoices.
In order to provide the best services to the business sector, Bank Muscat recently celebrated the relocation of the corporate branch in Sohar. The new branch is characterized by its spacious area and modern design, and it provides various banking services. The bank also opened a new corporate branch in Duqm, Al Wusta, to keep pace with the development and growth witnessed by the wilayat. It will continue to provide innovative services to the business sector and offer banking solutions that contribute to the development of business in various fields.
Exceptional retail services
Through its customer-centric vision, Bank Muscat has introduced new services and innovative offers that give added value to customers and enable them to benefit from features that commensurate with their different needs. It is also keen to develop a strategy that contributes to the implementation of digital transformation plans focused on Oman Vision 2040. This sets up fundamentals to launch a variety of edge-cutting services with benefits that suit the needs of different categories. Moreover, the bank this year celebrated the opening of many new branches and relocations within its long-term strategy to enhance the branch network and provide high-quality banking services. The new branches have a contemporary design with ample space, encompassing Madinat Sultan Qaboos branch, Al Nahdha branch in Wilayat Al Amerat, Al Hail branch in Seeb, and Al Khoudh-6 branch, bringing the total number of branches to 178 distributed in all governorates of the Sultanate.
The bank is keen to create new products and offer exclusive deals and advantages that enhance customers’ experience, in addition to providing various banking services, such as personal finance, auto finance, and housing finance.
The reflection of the interest in the bank’s distinctive products is the rise in the number of MB and IB registered users, which reached 1.76 million until the end of September 2023. The total number of e-service omni-channels reached 849 devices spread across all governorates, including ATMs, CDMs, multifunctional devices, CDMs for corporates, in addition to account statement printing devices.
Unmatched financing options to support investors
To strengthen its leading position in offering top-notch banking services to both individuals and businesses, and relying on its extensive experience in the banking industry, Bank Muscat was appointed as the Issue Manager for the Initial Public Offering of OQ Gas Networks, the largest IPO listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange. The bank also acted as the Global Coordinator along with other regional and international financial organizations. The offering experienced a big success as it raised 288 million Omani rials ($748 million). In view of this, the bank launched financial options to support investors and customers to get the most out of this offering. Also, the bank has strengthened its partnership with government and private institutions, providing them modern solutions and digital services tailored to suit their needs. It works closely with leading government-related companies and institutions to implement important strategic projects in the electricity and water sectors, as well as in the hospitality and real estate sectors.
With its long experience in investment management, the bank provides individual and institutional clients with the opportunity to take advantage of investment options, assessments, and analyses in various funds. Individuals wishing to achieve short-term or long-term returns can invest in the Oryx Fund and the Bank Muscat Liquidity Fund, which gives them the opportunity to invest in a diversified portfolio in the shares of many companies, thereby reducing the risk ratio.
Nonstop development of e-channels
Being one of the key strategic pillars, Bank Muscat has forged ahead executing plans aiming to achieve digital transformation and financial inclusion whether for individual customers, corporate customers or SMEs. This approach helped in achieving a notable increase by 35.7% in the acquiring transactions through e-channels and POS machines.
During this year, the bank launched a range of new electronic services, including a package of internet and mobile banking services. Customers can apply for finance products and credit cards through the IB or MB. The new addition aims to expand the list of options available through the bank's various electronic channels to enhance the customer experience in terms of facilitating the process of applying for banking services and products and reducing the waiting time when visiting branches.
Furthermore, Bank Muscat has enabled subscription and redemption options for mutual funds through the Mobile Banking and Internet Banking which resulted in the growing interest of retail investors in the bank's investment products. Recently, the Bank introduced services for opening children’s accounts through Mobile Banking and Internet Banking. It also launched the new Doorstep Banking service which provides corporate employees with the convenience of opening bulk personal accounts from their workplace.
Undivided attention to HR
Bank Muscat is honoured to be one of the leading financial institutions in the Sultanate that attaches great importance to the development of human resources and is keen to implement specialized policies and plans in this field. Its endeavor is to provide the appropriate environment for employees to help them accomplish their work and duties to the fullest. It also encourages and motivates them through various programs designed to sharpening their skills. A number of 372 new employees joined the bank this year, taking the total number of employees to 4105, with an Omanization rate of more than 93%. The bank works continuously to support employees by providing training and guidance programs and workshops in various fields so that they can achieve their dreams and aspirations, fulfill their goals, and effectively participate to achieve the goals of Oman Vision 2040.
In the same context, the bank pays great attention to supporting female employees. Women in Bank Muscat have assumed various roles and responsibilities that have enabled them to achieve many successes and achievements. It is a matter of pride that the percentage of female employees in the bank has reached more than 48% of the total number of employees in various departments and branches.
Besides, the bank is keen to partner with educational institutions to achieve the goals of sustainable human development. Therefore, the bank has provided more than 380 training opportunities for students in disciplines related to the banking sector. This annual initiative aims to develop students’ practical skills in various fields and functional specialties, especially related to the banking and financial sector. The bank's Training Department distributes students, nominated by their educational institutions, internally to various departments of the bank and externally to branches scattered in various governorates of the Sultanate. After that, a report is prepared on every trainee’s performance on a daily basis and throughout the training period.
Social responsibility initiatives and sustainable programs
Bank Muscat is keen to maintain its leading position in the field of social responsibility and community service. It has a record of success in the field, which can be obviously seen in many activities and initiatives that contributed to the Omani society. The bank also conducts social, cultural, economic and sports initiatives, through sustainable programs meant for humanitarian goals. This reinforces Bank Muscat's keenness to support all efforts being made in this field to enhance engagement between the bank and all segments of society, including providing support to social welfare and low-income families.
To better serve these objectives, the bank has a dedicated department to handle all social responsibility initiatives, and was the first bank in Oman to deliver skill-building support for SMEs. The most prominent initiative in the field of CSR is the Al Wathba Academy, which provides free consultations in finance and management, offers appropriate solutions to entrepreneurs, and implements training courses for them with internationally recognized certificates.
Bank Muscat takes pride in being a part of the success stories of these young entrepreneurs who have demonstrated their capability to efficiently manage their businesses after graduating from Al Wathba. The number of SMEs who benefited from the programmes reached 237 as of now.
Tadhamun program, on the other hand, is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development. It is concerned with providing support to social welfare and low-income families. Since its launch in 2013, the programme have provided benefits to approximately 3,223 families up to this point.
The bank also devotes most of its attention to people with disabilities through partnership with various associations to provide them with their basic needs; and extends support to the Fak Kurba initiative launched by Oman Lawyers Association to secure release of those serving prison sentence for failure to clear financial debts or have arrest warrants issued against them.
In addition, the Green Sports program is one of the Bank’s flagship CSR programs aiming at sporting skills of the Omani talented youth in the sports and cultural domains. The programme has so far benefitted 183 teams with over 55,000 team members across the Sultanate of Oman. Moving forward, the bank has been stepping up efforts to combat electronic frauds. Over the past three years, it has partnered with Royal Oman Police to launch anti-fraud campaign aimed at raising awareness among the public to reduce the risk of falling into electronic frauds and educating them on the financial and social implications. For maximum benefits, the campaign is carried out through multiple media, including print publications, radio, television and social media channels.
Global recognition confirms the bank's leadership
In acknowledgement of its pioneering position in the Islamic banking landscape, Bank Muscat has been recognised several times by regional and global highly ranked institutions. The bank was awarded the Best Digital Bank from the Global Finance in three categories, which included Corporate Banking, Retail Banking and Islamic banking. The bank was also awarded the Best Local Bank, the Best Corporate Bank and the Best ESG Bank in the Sultanate within the Euromoney Awards for Excellence for the year 2023. In addition, it won the Best Asset Manager Award and the Best Investment Bank Award in the Sultanate by EMEA Finance. Reinforcing its approach of innovation, the bank won the Infosys Finacle Innovation Awards 2023 in two categories: Maximizing Customer Engagement for its leading Mobile App in Oman, and Corporate Banking Innovation for its dynamic forex service to corporate banking customers. In recognition of its pioneering role in the CSR and community service programs, Bank Muscat was also crowned with the Gold Award at this year's Oman Sustainability Week Awards ceremony.