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BankMuscat hosts 4th Risk Officers Committee meeting

Effective risk management foundation for sustained growth of banks

MUSCAT, 8 January 2012 – BankMuscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, hosted the 4th meeting of Risk Officers Committee (ROC) comprising representatives of all banks in Oman. The committee was formed with a view to facilitating exchange of knowledge and keeping abreast with the latest developments in the ever evolving field of risk management.

In view of increasing compexities and challenges faced by banks in the current global operating enviornment, BankMuscat felt the need for a forum of risk managers of all banks in the country to meet at regular intervals to exchange views and discuss issues at length. The ROC was formed in January 2011 at the initiative of BankMuscat and under the guidance of the Central Bank of Oman as a forum for banks operating in Oman to pool ideas, share expertise and find common solution in the fast evolving area of risk management. Leen Kumar, DGM – Risk Management, BankMuscat was selected as the chairman of the committee.

The committee meets every quarter and topics are selected from areas ranging from credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, operational risk and business continuity management. Presentations are made by experts in the local banks and external consultants, followed by discussions. Topics discussed during the year included internal risk rating framework for corporate exposures, internal capital adequacy assessment process (ICAAP), pooling of operational loss data, capital assessment for operational risk under advanced approach, impact of US downgrade and European financial crisis on Omani market, stress testing for banks in GCC, downturn loss given default (LGD) framework and business continuity management.

The ROC forum participants acknowledged that the deliberations have been beneficial, particularly for smaller banks. It also provided an opportunity to discuss risk management issues with the regulator, whose representatives are invitees to the meeting, in an informal setting.

The member banks thanked BankMuscat for the intiative in forming the ROC and hosting the meetings at the bank's head office. The members unanimously elected Stephen Clayton, Chief Risk Officer of National Bank of Oman (NBO) as chairman for the year 2012. Steve Clayton said it is an honour for NBO to chair ROC for 2012. He promised to ensure that the ROC continues as an effective forum for banks in Oman to share ideas on risk management. Leen Kumar thanked all the members and the Central Bank of Oman for their participation in the ROC meetings in 2011 and the support extended by them to make it a success.