Oman plans early warning system for banks

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has already issued a circular to local banks on the need to better manage risks and rules on provisions and corporate governance. (FILE)

Oman intends to upgrade supervision of its banks as part of plans to create an early warning system designed to handle any fresh crisis in its financials sector, the Gulf country’s monetary chief has said.

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has already issued a circular to local banks on the need to better manage risks and rules on provisions and corporate governance, its executive president Hamoud bin Sangour Al Zadjali said.

Quoted by the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) monthly bulletin, Zadjali said CBO had created a joint committee with banks in Oman to draw up a long-term strategy for the banking sector and implement the new global recommendations on capital standards for banks known as Basel II.

“The CBO is now in the process of gradually moving from conventional supervision to a new system based on risks…the plan includes an early warning system to predict banking crises and it will be based on using a set of financial soundness indicators,” he told the bulletin of the Beirut-based UAB.

“We have also issued instructions to banks to develop their internal systems by upgrading key departments, mainly risk management units….we have also stressed the need for banks to provide training to their employees so they will be able to deal with the new Basel requirements.”

Oman, which is not a member of the 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has seven national banks and 10 foreign units, with their combined assets and loans standing at nearly $40 billion and $25 billion at the end of June 2010, according to official data.

 

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