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Youth rally behind bank muscat’s ‘borrow wisely’ campaign

​Social media abuzz on prudent financial management, savings culture

MUSCAT, 30 September 2012 – Taking a strong stand against the culture of excessive borrowing, Omani youth have rallied behind the ‘borrow wisely’ social responsibility campaign launched by bank muscat. Alarmed by the negative social and economic impact caused by mounting debts, a group of Omani youth championing social causes has produced a video clip on the ‘borrow wisely’ campaign which is abuzz on social media channels like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The video highlights the positive message emanating from the campaign in encouraging people to restrain themselves from excessive borrowing and avoid debt traps in life.     

The nine-member group has adopted a novel communication approach through a popular social media forum known as ‘Klmaten Ras’ (Two words to head). The forum is a friendly platform to engage and communicate social messages to youth.

Azzan bin Ali al Jardani, Supervisor of ‘Klmaten Ras’, said: “We take up campaigns which have social relevance and facilitate healthy discussion and exchange of advice among friends. The campaigns are aimed at raising awareness on responsible behaviour in all realms and thereby contribute to progress and development of society.”

Al Jardani added: “The bank muscat initiative is commendable as it serves the community and promotes awareness on excessive borrowing. The 3-minute video clip on ‘borrow wisely’ has generated widespread appeal among youth on the pitfalls of excessive borrowing. We congratulate bank muscat for launching the campaign, targeted especially at youth who are in need of proper guidance on prudent financial management and savings habits as they are embarking on independent lives.”

Al Jardani said: “The video strongly conveys that borrowing should be considered only if it is a necessity and borrowers should approach bank muscat to obtain financial guidance as the bank offers various choices to balance their financial requirements and repayment capability, thereby helping them to avoid debt traps. This campaign has proven that bank muscat is very different and concerned about the rights and well-being of people. This kind of service is not available elsewhere.”

Said bin Juma al Busaidi, member of ‘Klmaten Ras’, said:  “The ‘borrow wisely’ campaign primarily instills 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.”

Al Busaidi 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.”

Qais bin Rashid al Toobi, another active member of  ‘Kalmaten Ras’ 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.”

Al Toobi added: “The ‘borrow wisely’ campaign 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. People should not be hasty in borrowing and must be aware of the negative consequences of loan defaults. The campaign will have a positive impact on the economic and social wellbeing of people 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.”

On the participation of ‘Klmaten Ras’ in the ‘borrow wisely’ campaign, Waddah bin Khamis al Muzafar said:  “Omani society needs strong social campaigns. 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 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.”

Al Muzafar added: “The pioneering initiative confirms bank muscat's keenness to enhance its role in supporting society and not focus only on profitability. This is an exemplary initiative by a private sector institution which has launched several initiatives and campaigns for the benefit of Omani society. 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 debts. The campaign is laudable as it focuses on helping people to maintain financial balance between the needs and repayment capacity of individuals.”

Al Muzafar 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 to get married or buy their dream homes, all of which require financing and therefore they must obtain sound advice on their genuine needs and repayment capability. The ‘borrow wisely’ campaign will contribute to educating the youth on realistic borrowing and responsible behaviour.”

The video clip on ‘borrow wisely’ campaign can be viewed on http://www.youtube.com/KlmatenRas

As part of the ‘borrow wisely’ campaign, bank muscat will organise a number of educational and awareness events/activities, including seminars and educational evenings in all the governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate.