Oman Housing Bank (OHB) has recently won the Best Bank in Housing Loans Award, achieving excellence and high standard at the Arab countries level. The award was received by Mr. Adnan Haidar Darwish, OHB General Manager, at the Union of Arab Bankers conference held in Cairo. The conference was titled ‘Financing for Development’ and was attended by 700 dignitaries including finance ministers and governors of central banks.
Several criteria have been assessed, such as social justice, positive continuity and effective leadership, in addition to the bank’s vital role in providing housing loans to a large number of citizens in various categories across the country. This has paved the way for the bank to win the award and bank’s expertise in the housing sector towards sustainable development has been recognized by several specialized international organizations.
The increase in the bank capital, from RO 30 million to RO 100 million, has been approved in the bank Extraordinary General Meeting. This increase will enhance the bank’s financial resources and contribute in addressing the increasing demand in housing loans. It also reflects the government’s support in the social aspect of the citizens by providing decent housing to them and to their families.
AGREEMENTS WITH BANKS
There has been a huge demand for borrowing from the bank, particularly after the issuance of the Royal Orders to reduce the banking and administrative rates of OHB loans to the range between (1% – 4%). This has increased the number of loan applications in the queue that are waiting to get approvals. Therefore, the bank has entered into agreements with some commercial banks, in order to offer alternatives to OHB clients and reduce the waiting period. This allowed OHB clients to get their loans faster through those commercial banks with a reduced interest rate, knowing that OHB will pay their remaining loan balances when the queue reaches to their application.
MODERN BANKING SYSTEM
With a view of enhancing operational efficiency and customer service, the bank has started a project of setting up a modern banking information system as an adoption to the advanced technologies and IT solutions. The new system will be in line with the international banking standards, and the requirements of risk management and combating money laundering.
The bank has drawn up a strategy for ten years. This strategy includes plans to establish some housing projects, which will bring more housing options to citizens, especially for the low and middle income groups. Moreover, in alignment with the government’s plans to establish modern residential complexes, the bank is looking forward to play key roles in these projects.
OHB has contributed in building more than (38) thousand houses which value an approximate amount of RO (815) million in different regions of the Sultanate. The bank will continue with its endeavors towards its objectives in providing decent housing to the citizens.