Muscat, – The Annual Bankers Meeting 2023 was held today with attendance of Tahir Salim Al Amri, the Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), CEOs and senior officials of licensed banks, payment service providers (PSPs) operating in the Sultanate of Oman and Oman Banks Association (OBA).

The meeting commended the tangible role of the banking sector and its significant contribution towards the prosperity of the Omani economy, referring to the firmly established signs of recovery of the Omani economy.

The meeting also highlighted the significant improvements in the outlook of the economy as a result of steadfast implementation of fiscal reforms by the government, and encouraged banks to further refine their strategies to benefit from the new opportunities and government economic development programmes.

Moreover, the Executive President of CBO in his presentation emphasised the need to strengthen partnership with PSPs to digitize payments in the Sultanate of Oman. He also highlighted the steps taken by CBO to support the government in building an ecosystem for financial sector digital transformation. He also encouraged banks and PSPs to leverage on such initiatives for more efficient and inclusive financial services industry, as well as creating innovative ways to offer customized additional financial solutions for individuals in line with the rapidly evolving electronic products and services in the financial sector.

Furthermore, the participants were updated about an important milestone in the ongoing efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, as the Sultanate of Oman’s National Risk Assessment (NRA) has been successfully conducted, setting the stage for the forthcoming Mutual Evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) starting from January 2024. Accordingly, the Executive President of the CBO urged the banking sector to be fully prepared for the assessment.

Moreover, the meeting highlighted the banking sector’s journey towards digital innovations and transformation to electronic banking services. Further, OBA conducted a presentation on the readiness of the banking sector for the mutual assessment by FATF.

In the open discussion session, the participants had detailed discussions on improving efficiency of the supervisory approach on licensed entities to ensure safety and soundness of financial institutions for safeguarding financial stability. The participants also discussed challenges facing the banking sector, including technological advancements and implementation of International Bank Account Number (IBAN) in the Sultanate of Oman, as well as discussing various issues of concern to the Omani banking and financial sector.

Source: Oman News Agency

News Reporter