MUSCAT — BankMuscat, the flagship financial institution in the Sultanate, has commended the draft Central Bank of Oman (CBO) model of Islamic banking and finance to be adopted by Islamic banks and Islamic windows associated with conventional banks in Oman.
Sulaiman al Harthy, Group GM — Islamic Banking, expressed deep appreciation of the draft model at the fourth seminar on Islamic banking hosted by the Bank at the Ministry of Education. The BankMuscat Sharia board members — Shaikh Dr Ali Qaradaghi, Chairman, Shaikh Essam Muhammad Ishaq and Shaikh Majid al Kindi — addressed the seminar aimed at raising awareness and familiarising people with the main characteristics of Islamic finance.
Sulaiman al Harthy said: “The CBO model has outstandingly recapped the best practices in Islamic banking and finance industry worldwide and combined it in a robust and incomparable model. We believe it will protect customers and help the Islamic banking industry to grow.”
Al Harthy added: “BankMuscat thanks and values the CBO’s initiative in presenting the draft model to all stakeholders and getting the feedback from the industry which reflects the CBO’s interest in introducing a consultative and viable Islamic banking and finance regulatory framework.”
Al Harthy said: “In terms of Sharia governance, the model will enhance customer confidence on Islamic banking and finance industry, specifically Islamic banking windows belonging to conventional banks and offering Sharia-compliant products, wherein it emphasises the requirement for independent Sharia supervisory boards, separate capital, single obligor limit, unique risk management tools, fund segregation, separate books of account, core banking system which supports Islamic banking operation, separate Islamic banking branches and proper profit distribution mechanism among investment account holders/depositors. The adoption of AAIOFI standards shall boost and streamline the Islamic banking and finance industry practices in Oman in terms of standardisation of products and services.”
Al Harthy said: “BankMuscat is the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman. The Bank’s strategy is to attract customers through innovative products and services. As always, BankMuscat takes the lead in offering value added services and strives to increase the range of benefits for customers.”
BankMuscat recently unveiled the logo of its Islamic banking window under the brand name ‘Meethaq’. Further, in line with CBO requirements, the Bank announced the formation of the 3-member Shariah board to ensure the ‘Meethaq’ operations are in compliance with Sharia.
Al Harthy added: “As the nation’s leading financial services provider, BankMuscat is well positioned to provide Islamic financial expertise to diverse segments and thereby promote the good of society as a whole. The Bank has in place a comprehensive strategy to effectively respond to the directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos on Islamic banking and thereby cater to the financial needs of people in accordance with the guidelines and regulatory framework to be prescribed by the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).”
Al Harthy said: “Meethaq will reach out to customers with the promise of being true to their beliefs, offering all the advantages of Islamic banking by following the principles of Shariah law. The ‘Meethaq’ suite of banking products which combine traditional values with modernity are in the pipeline to give the choice of staying true to one’s values. Inspired by faith and a tradition of trust, ‘Meethaq’ will help customers stay true to their values.”