BankMuscat, a leading fi nancial services provider in the sultanate, recently hosted the fi rst meeting of the risk Officers Committee (ROC) comprising risk officers from banks across Oman.
The committee was formed with a view to facilitate exchange of knowledge and keep abreast with the latest developments in the ever-evolving field of risk management. Participating in the inaugural session, Sheikh AbdulMalik Bin Abdullah Al Khalili, chairman of BankMuscat, welcomed the formation of the committee and said it would help strengthen the Omani banking industry.
Welcoming delegates, Abdulrazak Ali Issa, chief executive of BankMuscat, said, “risk management has made signifi cant strides over the past decade – partly owing to initiatives by banks and partly due to the fast changing economic environment in the world. Banks today are not just commercial entities but key pillars of the economy. events of the recent past where governments across the world stepped in to provide unprecedented support to banks in need points to the importance of the banking sector.
“This realisation that the wellbeing of banks has a direct impact on the national economies has led to a change in perspective of how banks are managed – more particularly on how banks identify risks, measure them and manage them. Th e added focus on risk management – which started with the implementation of the Basel II accord – has only grown since then.
“An eff ective risk management is the foundation for sustained profi table growth of banks and it was in pursuance of this belief that Bank- Muscat strived to develop risk management as an area of core competence.”
He added that there had been a growing need for a forum for risk officers of banks to get together and discuss key areas of risk management, share ideas and pool data to validate risk models and take the Omani banking industry forward.
Basim Haroon Al Zadjali from the Central Bank of Oman said, “The risk profile of individual banks vary due to differences in clientele base, risk culture and business strategy. however, there are common risk issues on which exchange of ideas would definitely help. against the backdrop of the recent global financial crisis and implementation of advanced risk measurement approaches under the Basel II framework, the convening of this meeting is most appropriate. The committee as part of its stated objectives should promote healthy debate and discussion on the latest risk management practices.”