By A Staff Reporter -
MUSCAT — The ‘borrow wisely’ social responsibility campaign launched by bank muscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, has gathered momentum with prominent media representatives and social dignitaries commending the initiative.
Dr Mohammed Al Araimi, President of Omani Society for Writers, said: “The ‘borrow wisely’ campaign primarily instils responsible behaviour as people are encouraged to restrain themselves from excessive borrowing and thereby avoid overspending and debt traps in life. Prudent financial management is very important as debts can lead to serious crises which will be passed on to generations. The availability of easy money through loans should not be seen as a lure as borrowers soon face disastrous consequences with a pile of debts that heap suffering on families.”
Dr Al Araimi added: “The social campaign launched by bank muscat is laudable as it supports to build a healthy society conscious of the pitfalls of unrestrained borrowing. Financial extravagance is to be avoided at any cost as the borrower’s future will be in jeopardy. The ‘borrow wisely’ campaign is a classic case of responsible banking as people are encouraged to go only for essential borrowing. The campaign enlightens society on the dire consequences of accumulated debts.”
Dr Al Araimi said: “We need to collectively address the disturbing culture of debts, especially for the benefit of younger generation. bank muscat has significant experience in launching national initiatives and campaigns that benefit Omani society. We look forward to the participation and support of all segments of society to the campaign which will reap major benefits for all.”
Maurice Gent, renowned industrial and financial writer formerly working for The Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, the BBC and Oman Daily Observer, said: “Borrowing is an art as well as a science. Borrowing wisely involves first of all a very careful study of all personal commitments, both the already entered into, and those that could affect your budget in the future. It is important to take into account the obvious repayment duties such as mortgage on a house, and also likely further commitments such as education of children.”
Gent added: “It is also wise to consult privately those you trust in the family and also those you really trust in the community and that works. If you have deep-seated concern or doubts about this think twice, or even three time more. A period of deep thought and reflection is needed before any wise borrower makes a final decision.
A loan can just be what you need as you seek a prosperous and happy life for you and your loved one. A loan taken without counselling fully your professional bank and those who have proved trustworthy over a long period in your personal life could prove unfortunate.”
Gent noted: “Act openly with yourself, your banker and to those to whom you are close. Then all will be well. “The act of borrowing wisely is crucial in our lives today. Getting it right can lead to fulfilling our reasonable dreams. Dreams become reality if you work together with professional planners, like a good bank and also with family and close friends. Make sure you form an alliance of the willing!”
Awadh bin Said Baqwair, President of Omani Journalists Association, said: “The ‘borrow wisely’ campaign launched by bank muscat will go a long way in educating the community of the risks of excessive borrowing. This is a positive step which deserves the support of all to make it a success. Excessive borrowing leads to debt traps which deprive people of contented lives and cause hardships and suffering. The innovative social responsibility campaign has raised awareness on the pitfalls of excessive borrowing. People should not be hasty in borrowing and must be aware of the negative consequences of not being able to repay loans within their financial abilities. The campaign will have a positive impact on the economic and social wellbeing and encourage a positive savings culture in Oman. All of us should be aware of the need to save for a rainy day and the campaign is a step in this direction.”
Baqwair added: “Omani society needs such strong social campaigns, especially to raise awareness among youth who are taking up new jobs and embarking on independent lives. The consequences of excessive debts are threatening not only for the borrowers, but on society as well. Therefore, everyone must limit borrowing to essential requirements and focus more on savings. The campaign has succeeded in highlighting the negative consequences of excessive borrowing. The consumption culture need to make way for a savings culture. bank muscat should be commended for launching this campaign which is a fine example of responsible banking. Borrowing for a necessity is fine but it should not be considered as an option to indulge in extravagance. We are hopeful that the campaign will lead to a positive behavioural change which will be beneficial for Omani society. The government and the private sector should join hands to fight the menace of excessive borrowing. The awareness and educational programmes linked to the campaign will encourage moderate and orderly borrowing to support essential needs of people.”
Salim Abdullah Al Awadi, Deputy CEO of Al Omaniya Financial Services, said: “bank muscat has launched a pioneering initiative which confirms the bank's keenness to enhance its role in supporting society and not focus only on its business objectives and profitability. This is an exemplary initiative by a private sector institution which has launched several initiatives and campaigns for the benefit of Omani society. The ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign touches the needs of society and on this foundation we expect to succeed and achieve the desired goals and contribute to a change in the consumption culture of people.”
Al Awadi added: “bank muscat has several loan products, but in contrast the ‘borrow wisely’ campaign reaches out to people with the message of responsible banking and thereby encourages sustainable development. The campaign is a novel initiative to benefit people, especially the Omani youth, and encourage them to avoid excessive borrowing and debt traps. bank muscat is in a position to provide appropriate advice on loan products and realistic borrowing based on the needs of customers commensurate with their needs and repayment capabilities. The Omani youth must be practical in their borrowing habits and must consult financial advisors before plunging into financial debts. The campaign is laudable as it focuses on helping people to maintain financial balance between the needs and repayment capacity of individuals.
Al Awadi said: “The timing of the campaign is appropriate as many youth are taking up jobs and embarking on independent lives. Prudent financial management is vital for this segment as
they require to buy vehicles or may be considering marriage or their dream homes all of which require financing and therefore they
must obtain sound advice on their genuine needs and their repayment capability. The ‘borrow wisely’ campaign will contribute to educating the youth in realistic borrowing and responsible behaviour.”