Bank Nizwa has introduced a number of initiatives to help mitigate the social and economic effects of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The bank pledged RO600,000 where RO300,000 will be donated to support the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Health to combat the impact of outbreak and RO300,000 will be allocated to directly support affected customers.
The bank is offering financial relief solutions, mainly to affected retail and SME customers. Evaluation is conducted on a case-to-case basis to provide them with tailored solutions to their circumstance. Additionally, in light of the current social distancing protocols, the bank has introduced new features to its digital banking platforms to make it easier than ever to bank from home.
Sheikh Khalid Abdullah Al Khalili, Chairman of Bank Nizwa, said, “This initiative comes as part of our commitment as the leading Islamic bank in Oman towards supporting our society as the health and safety of our community is our top priority, and that’s why it was important to lend our support where possible to the health services that are striving every day to keep us all safe. But more than that, we want to ensure that our customers remain financially secure during these unprecedented circumstances. Whether its deferments, financial grants, banking services, or advice, we want them to know that we are the bank they can trust.”
Retail customers who are directly affected by the outbreak can apply for a deferment for a period of three months, starting from April 2020. This includes those who have suffered pay loss, job loss, salary reduction, or those who are applying on medical grounds for themselves or a family member. Customers with a Diminishing Musharaka or Ijara Home Financing may also apply for a deferral for a period of two months, subject to the applicant drawing a net salary up to RO1,000 per month.
SME owners experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, can contact their dedicated relationship manager to discuss their options for the bank’s review, and depending on the merit of the case, the bank may offer financial relief.
In addition to these measures, Bank Nizwa is also encouraging customers to use its Shari’a-compliant digital channels, which offer a convenient and safe alternative to branch banking during the current pandemic. The bank’s services include online banking, mobile banking, including the e-wallet app, and phone banking. All are designed to allow customers to access their banking services from home, 24/7.