Andrew Long, CEO, HSBC Bank Oman shares his thoughts on how the bank is bringing its global best practices to Oman.
Retail and corporate lending
The retail banking unit is pursuing a prudent asset growth strategy based on selective risk expansion to improve credit delivery to retail customers in Oman. The bank pursues a risk-based strategy to offer better than average pricing to discerning customers. A nationwide footprint helps us to deliver banking services across the Sultanate while also enabling international connectivity to emerging growth corridors where the HSBC group has presence.
The HSBC Group is one of the leading project finance and financial advisory providers globally, and the top-rated advisory for Sukuk issuance. HSBC Bank Oman works closely with the group to bring this expertise to Oman and has played a leading advisory role in key transactions in 2014.
Supporting SMEs
In November 2014 we launched a RO20mn International Growth Fund (IGF) to help Omani SMEs with cross-border trading requirements achieve their business goals. The IGF is open to new and existing customers with an annual turnover of RO1mn and above.
In addition, we also launched ‘The Growth Series’ seminars in support of SMEs in Oman to give ambitious businesses the insight and advice to succeed locally and offshore. These seminars reinforce HSBC Bank Oman’s commitment to the SME sector as well as provide guidance on how to take advantage of the new Fund.
HSBC Bank Oman has pledged its support to Oman’s growing private sector by utilising the HSBC Group’s global expertise to offer customers a high level of international connectivity that is essential for businesses to thrive.
Branch, ATM and CDM network
HSBC Bank Oman operates the second largest footprint in the Sultanate with 74 branches and over 120 ATMs in high footfall locations. As for expanding or upgrading our presence, we always look to be where our customers need us and therefore ensure we have a branch in strategic locations across the country.
HR initiatives
During 2014, our employees took advantage of a variety of different training activities and programmes through alternative media. For example, employees had an average of over three days of face-to-face classroom training, equating to around 2,000 learning days, as well as via the HSBC e-learning portal learning.
In addition, employees benefited from a range of on-the-job and branch compliance officer training activities and were given support in pursuing professional qualifications. All of our employees have regular access to e-learning modules developed by the group as well as the global business-focused ‘Academies’ of development opportunities. Our employees have also benefited from training opportunities overseas, including at HSBC’s group and regional offices as well as other HSBC entities elsewhere, along with short term attachments for certain roles to take advantage of the group’s international expertise in particular fields.
Financial performance in 2014
HSBC Bank Oman recorded an 11.9 per cent increase in net profit to RO12.2mn for the year ended December 31, 2014 compared to RO10.9m for the year ended December 31, 2013. This increase was mainly due to an increase in net operating income before loan impairment charges, a reduction in operating expenses and the release of prior years’ tax provisions. Analysis across our businesses shows that our wholesale bank (commercial banking and global banking and markets) showed a significant improvement over the prior year.
Islamic finance
HSBC Bank Oman constantly reviews its products and services to ensure the best interest of our customers and shareholders. Should we, in the near or distant future, decide to provide an Islamic finance window, we can do so quite fast and effectively due to the HSBC Group’s extensive experience in delivering Islamic banking products in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.
Future plans
For 2015, HSBC Bank Oman continues to invest in our electronic banking capabilities bringing market leading technology to our corporate customers in Oman. On the back of an extremely strong project finance and corporate advisory track record, HSBC Bank Oman continues to focus on using our local footprint and connections while delivering this global capability and expertise to key clients in Oman.
We remain committed to delivering the very best experience for our customers at all times and through all customer touch-points. We are confident that the bank is positioned well to take full advantage of both the opportunities that will arise and to tackle any challenge that lies ahead. We will continue to invest in the future of the bank as we maintain our journey to become the leading bank in Oman.

To report this post you need to login first.