Muscat, February 22, 2022: Oman Arab Bank (OAB) was recently presented with the Excellence Award in Social Responsibility in acknowledgment of its contributions towards sustainability and sustainable initiatives in 2021. The award was received by Feras Al Farsi, Head of Sustainability and CSR on behalf of Oman Arab Bank.
Social responsibility forms the basis of OAB’s Sustainability strategy and its three main focus areas: community partnerships, environmental responsibility and financial inclusion. The Bank’s sustainability strategy was designed to add value to society and the environment in parallel with the development and growth of the organisation.
OAB recently issued its first GRI-certified sustainability report, which is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Oman Vision 2040. This report makes OAB the third bank in the Sultanate to achieve this distinction.
Throughout 2021, OAB collaborated with 12 talented Omani photographers to produce the Bank’s first eco-friendly desk calendar made entirely of recycled paper and vegetable ink. The Bank also led several awareness campaigns on environmental responsibility highlighting the different native flora and fauna that are at risk of being endagered and shared tips to encourage a more eco-friendly life. For the second time, the bank also sponsored The Environment Society of Oman’s virtual fundraiser.
As part of its financial inclusion efforts, the Bank strives to educate and advise the public regarding financial management to ensure they make optimum use of the available opportunities. The Bank conducted a financial management workshop for members of the Omani Women’s Association and partnered with the Oman Banks Association for a financial inclusion campaign from April to May 2021. The Bank also developed its own social media content to explain the concept of financial inclusion to the uninitiated.
Oman Arab Bank has developed a strong relationship with several non-profit organizations over the years and 2021 was no different. All partners can be found and donated to through the OAB app: Dar Al Atta’a, Al Noor Association For The Blind, Oman Charitable Organization, Takaful, Handicapped Children Association, and Environment Society of Oman. During Ramadan the bank also ran an awareness campaign with the partners and set up festive competitions with all proceeds being donated to the charities. Throughout 2021, OAB collaborated with several other private and public entities on other initiatives such as financially supporting students with their studies and providing medical equipment to those in need.
Due to climate change, Oman saw several natural disasters in 2021 such as the flooding in Sur and then North Batinah, followed by Cyclone Shaheen. For Sur and North Batinah, the Bank donated to the Ministry of Social Development to ensure that the aid reached those who needed it most, in addition to providing a list of SMEs from the affected areas that specialised in construction to facilitate with repairs. For Cyclone Shaheen, OAB and Alizz Islamic Bank allocated OMR 300,000 as relief funds for those in need.
OAB has a rich and proud history as one of the first financial institutions to be established in the Sultanate. Today, the OAB Group operates a nationwide network of 51 conventional branches, 15 Islamic branches, 150 conventional ATMs and 15 Islamic ATMs in high footfall locations across the Sultanate. OAB provides a complete range of financial products and services through its OAB Online App. Customers can now digitally benefit from several other services, directly from the convenience of their mobile phones.