Oman Arab Bank, being a major financial player in the market has established its Islamic Banking Window as per constituents of Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework (IBRF) issued by Central Bank of Oman (CBO). The Bank is marketing its Islamic banking operations with a unique brand name of “Al Yusr”. In accordance with the CBO regulations, the Bank has adopted a “Bank within the Bank” model for its Islamic Banking operations. Al Yusr started its Islamic Banking operations from the 5th of Ramadhan 1434AH (14 July, 2013AD). The Bank has adopted a strategy where it plans to tailor its products observing customer behavior and overall market reaction on the Islamic banking products that early movers have offered in Oman. This is expected to closely meet customer needs and demands.
The unique feature of Islamic Banking that distinguishes it from the existing conventional banking streams is the Shari’a compliance governance structure that consists of Shari’a Supervisory Board and Shari’a Audit and Compliance Department. Shari’a Supervisory Board of the Bank consists of three eminent Shari’a scholars: Dr. Essam Al-Enezi, Dr. Ahmad Ayyadi and Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Qassar from Oman and other GCC counties to steer the Islamic Banking operations in the right direction.
Al Yusr operations, according to the requirements stated in the IBRF, will have separate core-banking system, separate dedicated branches, and key staff positions to ensure no-commingling of conventional and Islamic funds, segregation of core functions and marketing of Islamic Banking products and services. The Bank has also separately allocated its capital for offering Islamic banking services and products.
The Bank has planned to commence its Islamic operations with separate and dedicated Islamic Banking branches strategically located in major cities of the Sultanate.
Al Yusr aspires to provide its customers with Shari’a compliant innovative products and excellent customer services through state of the art distribution channels at competitive prices. The Islamic Banking will offer a range of products to a variety of customer segments. The Window may also provide tailor made customer specific solutions after carefully assessing the market.
All the products will be duly approved by Shari’a Supervisory Board. The products will be based on Shari’a-compliant structures such as Murabaha, Ijarah, Mudarabah, Musharakah, Diminishing Musharakah, Salam, Istisna’a etc. The prime focus of Islamic Banking operations, during the initial years, is to tap opportunities in the retail and SME / mid-tier corporate sectors. However, gradually, Islamic products will also be offered to the large corporate and high net worth individuals.