MUSCAT, 11 June 2018
Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, in line with its vision ‘To serve you better, everyday’ and commitment to partnership in sustainable development, has extended support to ‘Fak Kurba’ initiative launched by Oman Lawyers Association to secure release of citizens and residents serving prison sentence for failure to clear financial debts. None of these cases relate to payments involving banks or financing companies.
The generous gesture by the bank will result in the release of imprisoned citizens from different regions in the Sultanate, facilitating reunion with their families and dear ones during the joyous occasion of Eid Al Fitr. Bank Muscat presented a cheque to Oman Lawyers Association to resolve 190 cases of citizens currently serving prison term or have arrest warrants issued against them, at a ceremony organised at the bank’s head office in the presence of Abdul Razak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, and H.E Dr. Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Chairman of the Legislative and Legal Committee of Majlis Ash’shura.
Abdul Razak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: “Bank Muscat, as part of its commitment to benchmark social responsibility, is proud to support the unique ‘Fak Kurba’ initiative by Oman Lawyers Association. We commend the humanitarian gesture of the legal fraternity in Oman. The bank’s association with the initiative reiterates its commitment to extending a helping hand to deserving beneficiaries, thereby supporting them to lead normal lives. We are gratified to partner with the Lawyers Association and secure the release of 190 citizens to facilitate a joyous Eid Al Fitr reunion and celebration with their families and dear ones. Bank Muscat always leads by example in sustainable social development initiatives and we encourage all corporates to give strong support for such initiatives to spread happiness and joy in the lives of people facing hardships.”
The ‘Fak Kurba,’ initiative was launched in 2012 by the Lawyers Association in coordination with the Ministry of Social Development and the Council of Administrative Affairs for the Judiciary. ‘Fak Kurba’ is a voluntary association of lawyers committed to making a difference in the lives of people facing insolvency charges. The association receives lists of people charged with insolvency cases from all 44 courts in Oman and seeks to help as many people as possible with a maximum limit of RO 5,000 per case. Only persons involved in labour, Shari’a, civil and commercial cases are considered for ‘Fak Kurba’ support.
The Lawyers Association has been successfully managing the ‘Fak Kurba’ programme, facilitating the release of hundreds of citizens imprisoned on insolvency charges every year. Most of these cases have resulted from death of the bread-winner at home, road accidents or critical illness whereby affected people accumulated debts leading to prison terms. This year, the initiative is reaching out for the fifth time following successful programmes in the previous years leading to release of hundreds of citizens facing insolvency charges.
H.E Dr. Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Chairman of the Legislative and Legal Committee of Majlis Ash’shura Council, thanked Bank Muscat for its generous support for this year's ‘Fak Kurba’ initiative to secure the release of a large number of imprisoned citizens. The ‘Fak Kurba’ initiative is aimed at enlightening people on implications of law relating to financial obligations as well as responsibilities of citizens to avoid legal cases, he added.
The Lawyers Association in cooperation with the Directorate General for Enforcement Affairs in the Administrative Affairs Council of the Judiciary, collects financial donations as part of ‘Fak Kurba’ to secure the release of imprisoned citizens facing insolvency cases. In the inaugural year in 2012, the ‘Fak Kurba’ was instrumental in securing the release of 44 detainees. In 2014, a large number of 304 detainees were released, followed by the release of 432 detainees in 2015 when the initiative won second position in Sultan Qaboos Award for Voluntary Services. In 2017, the initiative secured the release of 425 and this year, over 500 detainees are expected to be released.
The CSR and sustainability strategy pursued by Bank Muscat is centred on the bank’s values of leadership and partnership, creating a positive impact on society. As a forward looking financial institution, Bank Muscat is at the forefront in contributing to society and thereby setting a fine example for the corporate sector to develop social responsibility as a corporate culture. As the pioneer of CSR activities in the banking sector in Oman, Bank Muscat has implemented several initiatives benefiting various segments of society and remains committed to sustainable development benefiting all segments of society.