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BankMuscat won the top 2012 Hawkamah Bank Corporate Governance Award.
The prestigious award showcases banks that have gone the extra mile in improving their corporate governance practices, beyond the legal and regulatory requirements imposed by their respective jurisdictions.
Ahmed Al Barami, AGM -“ Chairman's Office, received the award at the ceremony in Dubai attended by senior bankers from the region.
The award jury commended BankMuscat for introducing a unique approach to the areas of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility.
AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, said: "BankMuscat is proud to win the top Hawkamah award. The prestigious recognition for superior governance leadership serves as a model for banks in the region. The board of directors and the management of BankMuscat have absolute belief in and understanding of the key principles of corporate governance which is reflected in the way we do business.-
As the leading Bank in the Sultanate, it is important that we set the standards and we have done this by creating a culture of openness, transparency and accountability, which are important for any organisation. The Bank has an advantage in creating this culture due to the stability of management which has helped the institution to progress steadily.-
AbdulRazak added: "The main advantage of advanced corporate governance is that it protects all stakeholders -” from customers to creditors, to regulators, shareholders and staff. Because the GCC is a very competitive region, it is important that we create an advantage in this area so that we can continue to attractforeign investment.
Investors looking at a company or country see strong corporate governance equating to stability, which is something they are looking at closely, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis.-
Commending the important role played by regulators, AbdulRazak said: "Their role is crucial. The Central Bank of Oman (CBO), the Capital Market Authority (CMA) and Muscat Securities Market (MSM), through guidelines and regulations, have created the corporate governance roadmap for banking and financial institutions in the Sultanate.
The CMA Code of Corporate Governance has been in place since 2003 and the CBO Circular on Corporate Governance was issued in 2002. These two regulations define the corporate governance responsibilities for banking and financial institutions in Oman.-
BankMuscat has invested heavily in the assurance functions with certified internal auditors, financial risk managers, fraud examiners, anti-money laundering (AML) officers and compliance officers.
Having the full suite of relevant policies in the areas of risk management, disclosures, AML and whistle-blowing has equipped the Bank to flag an area of concern and thereby foster the culture of openness, transparency and accountability that is critical in today's business environment.