BankMuscat launches nation’s first ‘zero’ % interest al a’awn (support) loans in aid of cyclone victims
Coming shortly after the nation’s leading bank announced that it was giving away RO 3 million toward the rehabilitation of Cyclone victims and also deferring all loan repayments of its customers by two months, BankMuscat has announced the launch of the nation’s first ‘Zero’ % interest loans in aid of Cyclone victims.
Named Al A’Awn (support) loans, the new product will be available with immediate effect to all existing BankMuscat customers in the Muscat Governorate and Sharqiya who have their salaries assigned to the bank (on the date of the launch of the programme) and who draw a monthly salary RO 500 or lower. Loans of up to 3 times a person’s salary will be credited directly to the loan account of the person in question within 24 hours of receipt of the completed loan application form.
Speaking at the launch of the product, AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive, BankMuscat SAOG said: “This is our third initiative to offer support to people nationwide. The recent Cyclone as we all know has wrecked havoc across the nation. Today there are thousands of people in dire need of support and assistance. The Zero % Al A’Awn loans we believe will help over 20,000 of our customers nationwide take a small step toward rebuilding their lives.”
Customers can avail of the Al A’Awn loans till 15 August starting today, following which the Bank will evaluate the continued need for such loans. While the Ministry of National Economy has yesterday announced that it estimates the national loss due to Cyclone Gonu to be in the range of RO 1.5 billion, in a unique show of solidarity nationals and residents have alike come forward to help in the reconstruction process.
Sharing his thoughts on the reconstruction process currently still underway in full swing, Mr AbdulRazak added: “While we are indeed indebted to the tireless efforts of the national administration to rebuild our beautiful country under the visionary leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, each one of us have a significant role to play in the entire re-building process. Crucial to this effort at this point in time is the ability to put aside the needs of oneself for the benefit of others who are more in need. We believe that the cost the Bank to launch and run this initiative a small price to pay for putting back the smiles on the faces of our brothers and sisters who are in need. We are extremely grateful to the Central Bank for their support in allowing us to extend this loan to people for the first time in the history of the banking industry in Oman.”
In addition to all interest charges, the Bank has decided to waive all bank charges in the facilitating of the Al A’Awn loans. One month before the expiry of the loan tenure, all customers will receive a reminder informing them that their loans are due for repayment. In the event of nonpayment of the above loan on the due date in question, the outstanding loan amount shall be merged with the existing consumer loan of the customer, on the same terms and conditions that are prevailing on his loans at that point in time, without the necessary completion of any additional documentation. If the outstanding loan is not added to customer’s existing loan account, it shall become payable immediately and must be debited from the customer’s savings / current account.
BankMuscat is also currently in the process of accepting donations from nationals and residents to His Majesty’s Cyclone Victims Relief Fund in association with Oman Charitable Organization. People can walk into any of the Bank’s hundred branches nationwide and deposit their contributions to account # 3950150.
The BankMuscat Hearts Team, that works on social initiatives and supports charitable causes nationwide has also been very active in the cyclone victims rehabilitation process over the past one and half weeks. BankMuscat Hearts has launched an ongoing collection drive within the Bank, wherein essential commodities, clothing and food-stuff are collected from across the Bank’s branches and head office buildings and then distributed to cyclone victims. The Hearts team was also recently involved in a beach cleaning exercise at Al Ghubra and was also involved in the efforts to reach water to people immediately after the cyclone.