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bank muscat's ‘borrow wisely’ social campaign evokes strong commendation

MUSCAT, 2 September 2012 – Leading media persons and social dignitaries have lauded bank muscat's initiative for launching the ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign aimed at raising awareness and educating the general public about the importance of observing certain guidelines when borrowing from banks. The campaign objective is to help people maintain the right financial balance between their actual requirements and capabilities to pay back. The initiative is designed to provide advisory services to borrowers regarding their financial needs in order to help them lead a stable life.

The media and social dignitaries concurred that the novel initiative would be well received by various segments of society owing to its importance to borrowers and its role in stabilising the culture of borrowing, especially among Omani youth taking up employment and starting to lead independent lives. They urged all to cooperate with the bank in making this initiative a huge success by participating in events and activities so that the objective would be achieved, and appreciated bank muscat for its continued social responsibility-related efforts and initiatives and its active participation in the development of Omani society.  

HE Saleem bin Ali Al Hikmani, Head of the Economic Committee of Majlis Ash’shura, said:  "We commend the initiative of bank muscat in lunching the ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign aimed at serving society and consolidating the concept of social responsibility. The initiative confirms the bank’s keen interest in the importance of society-related issues by identifying their needs with the aim of offering assistance to individuals in order to enable them to lead a hassle-free life without financial burdens.

Al Hikmani further explained:  "I have followed up newspaper reports on this campaign by bank muscat which I hope will succeed owing to its importance as everyone is aware of the issue of debts, especially the youth who are in need of guidance on prudent financial planning. There are a number of people facing debt-related problems as a result of lack of awareness and guidance and also because of their inability to strike a proper balance between actual requirements and repayment capabilities. Hence, people get entangled in unwise borrowing habits. We hope that this unique campaign and the role of bank muscat in consolidating the borrowing culture based on proper foundations and criteria will realise the objectives of the ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign by educating people on how to deal with loans and strike a proper balance between the realisation of requirements and payment capabilities by classifying necessities and non-essential needs.

Cooperation and interaction

HE the Head of the Economic Committee of Majlis Ash’shura urged Omani society to cooperate with bank muscat in making the ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign a success, as it is aimed at serving the interests of people and educating them about debt-related issues and seeking their participation in various events and activities that the bank will organise in the coming period.  Among the main objectives of this campaign is to educate people about wise borrowing without depending only on consumer loans. He expressed confidence about the bank's ability in making this initiative a success as it is the leading financial institution in the Sultanate with wide experience in launching national initiatives and educational campaigns.  The bank also plays a prominent role in supporting events and activities that serve the interests of Omani society as part of its social responsibility.  This philosophy is apparent through the initiatives that the bank has launched in the past and which have always been successful and well received by the media and the general public.

Suha Al Ruqaishiyah, well-known media representative, noted that the private sector had an important role to play through positive interaction in society-related events and activities.  She added saying:  "Companies and establishments should concentrate on consolidating the concept of social responsibility and support different social programmes and events that serve the interests of society. bank muscat has taken a commendable role in this respect by launching initiatives and campaigns that benefit different segments of society.  The ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign highlights an important issue that demonstrates the interest of the bank in enhancing its role in social responsibility and not just being a financial institution with its eyes on profitability only."

Suha further added: “Awareness and education are among the most important issues required by society and we have to encourage such initiatives.  The ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign is a proper tool for meeting the requirements of society, especially those seeking to take loans, as many people, particularly the youth, are not aware about how to deal correctly with loan-related issues and problems. Hence, they face financial crises and sometimes are unable to settle loans. The initiative launched by bank muscat has come at an appropriate time to enhance awareness and educate members of society about sound foundations which should be followed when borrowing. A number of basic factors have to be taken into consideration, perhaps the most important one being the aim behind borrowing and whether it fits with an individual's capability to pay back the loan.  Moreover, one should not borrow excessively and in an illogical manner and without proper thinking. Those seeking to borrow can benefit from the advisory services offered by the bank in this respect.

Financial balance

Khalid bin Safi Al Haraibi, founder and partner of international networking centre ‘Tawasul’ explained that maintaining proper balance is very important in life as it contributes to the realization of progress and advancement for mankind.  Hence, the idea of launching a campaign that aims at realizing financial balance between requirements and capabilities is laudable as it encourages a savings culture beneficial for sustainable development for future generations.  Khalid added:  "In my view, a campaign, such as ‘Borrow Wisely’, represents a major initiative in the field of social responsibility by the private sector in the Sultanate. Firstly, it explains the intentions of bank muscat in preserving the public interest over its own interests as a banking entity; secondly, the ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign strikes a balance, bringing  about a positive change not only in behavior (borrowing)  but also a positive change in the culture of individuals and, thirdly, the initiative is unique as it has chosen a non-traditional approach. This represents a keen desire to change society's borrowing culture in a way that shows a serious and long-term commitment on the part of the bank towards its social responsibility for the benefit of society. To ensure the success of such initiatives, we, as individuals, should react positively and support such activities and events aimed at raising awareness on borrowing on the basis of requirements and payment capabilities."

Wise borrowing

Khalid bin Ali Al Rashdi, media representative, said that bank muscat's  ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign is not something new as the bank always takes a leading role in social responsibility in the best interest of different segments of society. All should understand the objective of this important initiative and its positive impact on individuals and families. This can be achieved only through proper awareness on wise borrowing. As we all know, economic difficulties faced by the Arab society are the result of mistakes related to consumption patterns. People should only borrow for essential necessities of life and not for acquiring luxuries and improving social status.

Al Rashdi added that the positive message emanating from the campaign is well received by different segments of society, especially the youth.  All should know how to manage their loans by striking a balance between their requirements and payment capabilities in a manner that guarantees the avoidance of financial crises.  He pointed out that the ‘Borrow Wisely’ has come at an appropriate time as there is a need for raising awareness and education among society, and hoped that all will cooperate with the bank and participate in the success of this unique initiative.

Al Rashdi lauded bank muscat for taking a lead role in social responsibility and launching initiatives and campaigns that play an important role in the development of Omani society.  He added:  "bank miscast has a clear-cut plan and strategy aimed at consolidating the concept of social responsibility.  To realize this aim, the bank launches different initiatives that are well received by the general public. We hope that commercial establishments in the Sultanate will emulate the bank’s positive role in social responsibility and show interest in issues that meet the requirements and needs of people."

As part of the ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign, bank muscat will organise several educational events such as seminars and cultural evenings in all governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate in cooperation with the bank's regional offices and branches.  The campaign is aimed at educating people about borrowing responsibly and also familiarising them with a number of issues related to borrowing, including compliance with the terms and conditions and identifying the main reason for borrowing in addition to determining the appropriate amount required.

Strategic approach

bank muscat's initiative in launching the ‘Borrow Wisely’ campaign is in line with the plans followed by the bank for the purpose of consolidating its role in the field of social responsibility with the aim of supporting different vital sectors.  The bank is keen to offer support to all segments of society in all the governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate through proper coordination and cooperation with government bodies and national associations. Over the years, bank muscat has successfully launched several social responsibility-related initiatives and it has in place plans and programmes to consolidate its role in this respect in the coming period based on its belief in participation in the development of Omani society.

bank muscat has succeeded in realising a number of achievements in social responsibility during the past period. Early this year, the bank announced the allocation of 20% of the budget of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department for the execution of "Jesr Al Mustaqbil" programme which targets children of social insurance and low-come families in different governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate with the aim of assisting them to complete their education besides offering vocational training to some of them.  The bank has also launched "Green Fields' initiative with the aim of providing financial support to national football teams in different governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate, in addition to another initiative aimed at consolidating voluntary social work and inculcating both the culture and concept of social responsibility among the bank employees.  The bank pursues a strategic approach aimed at consolidating the concept of social responsibility among its employees.

bank muscat pays full attention to social responsibility-related  events and activities and has earmarked a percentage of its annual profit for the execution of various projects and activities that play a significant part in serving Omani society.  bank muscat is considered one of the leading financial institutions in this field and also the first bank in Oman that has set up a full-fledged CSR Department that lays down plans, projects and activities that help in consolidating the concept of voluntary work for the benefit of society.