19 April 2016
Muscat: Islamic financial institutions in the Sultanate are expected to achieve a healthy growth in the banking sector in the near future, said the chief executive officer of the Bank Nizwa.

"Within no time, Islamic finance will grow above 15-20 per cent of the total banking sector activities in Oman," Dr Jamil El Jaroudi, chief executive officer of Bank Nizwa told the 'Times of Oman'.

Stating that Bank Nizwa will open new branches in the Sultanate by the end of the year, he remarked that Oman will be the leader in the Islamic finance soon.

"People's aspiration on Islamic banking is huge because it is an industry of transparency and fairness so it has no uncertainty," he said on the sidelines of the launch of Bank Nizwa's mobile branch.

Speaking about the bank's growth, he said, "we were able to reach breakeven in December in the three years of time and we consider this as a great achievement because it is a new industry and the sort of operation is different from other conventional banks."

"This achievement also put us in an important cruising level and we are able to reach the level that to continue as a very successful organisation," he added.

"Through our new mobile branch, we can easily identify the market needs and demands for future branch location and services" he said. According to him, the 'branch on wheels' will take customer close to the bank. "Our mobile branch is part and package of our strategy to deliver greater convenience and accessibility to existing and potential customers," he said.

"We are continuing our efforts to raise awareness on Islamic banking and bring it to the doorsteps of our growing customer base across the Sultanate," he added.

Over the next few months, mobile branch will travel all-around the Sultanate offering a host of products, services and also make the people aware on the benefits of Islamic banking.

According to bank officials mobile branch will help customers to open new accounts, activate debit cards, receive account balances and mini statements, deposit cash and cheques.

"Our main idea in launching mobile branch is to be more mobile and offer our products and services to the people across the Sultanate," Asad Batla, head of Consumer Banking said.

"Our teams of expert will also available in the truck and they offer financial consultations on how they can benefit from this growing industry in their day to day lives," he added.

Truck's journey will start from the governorate of Muscat, moving on to Dakhiliyah, Al Sharqiya, Dhofar, Al Batinah and Al Buraimi.

© Times of Oman 2016