Banking, Loans and Complaints:
1. What if I have a concern or complaint against my bank or a similar financial institution?
If you have a complaint against a bank, you can approach Central Bank of Oman by fulfilling some of the conditions listed below:
a) First, you are expected to have lodged a formal written complaint to your bank stating the full circumstances of the case. You can approach CBO, with evidence of copies of your correspondence with the bank, if you have reason to believe that your complaint needs to be escalated to CBO for its intervention. CBO does not entertain any complaint from public if this basic requirement is not fulfilled.
b) CBO will consider only those complaints which are already submitted by the applicants in writing to the concerned bank or the financial institution. This means you should submit to CBO copies of all the written correspondence you have had with your bank relating to the nature of your complaint.
c) Accordingly, you should attach copies of any supporting documents related to your complaint to facilitate speedy resolution.
d) In this regard, CBO would like to make it clear that it will not entertain your request or intervene for any resolution, in case your complaint is already a matter for disposal by any judicial authorities and/ or law enforcement agencies.
e) You should attach a copy of your Civil ID along with your complaint to CBO. In case you are acting on behalf of someone, you should produce evidence of a letter of authority or power of attorney to represent your principal.
2. How much time does it take for CBO to resolve my complaints and grievances brought to its notice?
While Central Bank intends to dispose of all the queries, complaints, inquiries etc., that it receives from public for speedy resolution, some complaints and applications will require 4 – 8 weeks or more time, depending on their complexity, for effective resolution due to various intermediary systems and layers of administration involved within banks.
3. My account is blocked as some of my cheques issued in the past have bounced in view of non-availability of funds in my account? How can I know if my account is mentioned in the caution-list for cheque bouncing?
Please be informed that CBO only provides a technical platform to the banks on the cheque return system. You should visit your bank to check if your account is listed under caution-list for cheque bouncing.
4. Can I call someone from CBO to check the status of my complaint?
Yes, you can call CBO’s Customer service unit on 24777696, 24777813 to inquire or seek assistance with regard to your query or complaint. Similarly, for matters related to CBO’s Sohar or Salalah branches, you should deal with them directly (Sohar Branch phone no: 26842122 & Salalah Branch phone no: 23293333).
5. When seeking a personal loan from a bank or any other financial institutions what are the basic things I should know?
Please be informed that every commercial bank or financial institution will have its own lending policy and terms and conditions for evaluation of a customer loan request. CBO, as the regulatory authority of the banking sector in the country, prescribes basically two conditions, as listed below, which all the licensed banks and financial institutions are expected to comply:
a) The maximum tenor of your personal loan cannot exceed 10 years.
b) Your monthly loan repayment instalment should not exceed 50 percent of your net salary. For example, if you net salary is RO 1000, your monthly loan repayment instalment cannot be more than RO 500, and this ceiling applies to all the loans put together. This means if a customer has any other loan apart from personal loan, all his / her instalments put together should not exceed the 50 % limit, including loans from other institutions.
6. Are there any limitations with regard to obtaining Housing Loans?
Yes. Even for housing loans, CBO prescribes two conditions which are explained below. However, bank customers should know that every commercial bank or financial institution will have its own lending policy and terms of reference.
a) The maximum tenor of your housing loan cannot exceed 25 years.
b) Your monthly loan repayment instalment should not exceed 60 percent of your net salary. For example, if you net salary is RO 1000, your monthly loan repayment instalment cannot be more than RO 600, and this ceiling applies to all the loans put together. This means if a customer has any other loan apart from housing loan, all his / her instalments put together should not exceed the 60 % limit.
7. I have a loan agreement of 10 years with my bank. Even after the completion of the tenor, I see there’s some outstanding balance in my loan account. Why is that so?
This may be due to instalment deferrals or postponement of instalments (normally called “waivers”) you have taken for certain occasions. Since your monthly instalment was not deducted on such specific occasions of deferrals (postponements), those monthly instalments over a period of your loan tenor get automatically extended with accumulated interest. Please note that deferral of a loan instalment does not mean “waiver” or exemption of “interest” and that will have to be paid at any cost. It is only the principal sum – in this case the monthly equated instalment excluding interest – that is deferred. This accumulated balance including additional unpaid interest would have resulted in your repayment tenor exceeding the originally contracted term of the loan.
Although you are entitled to seek deferrals on your monthly instalment on certain occasions, it is in the best interest of the customer not to seek such relaxations as it will prolong the duration of the loan repayment agreement. Even if deferrals are voluntarily granted by banks and accepted by customers, it is advisable for customers to pay the interest due on the instalment (principal amount) so that repeated compounding of unpaid interest (due to repeated deferrals) is avoided. In case you do not want instalment deferrals, you should ensure that your bank is informed in writing beforehand.
8. How do I know if I have any outstanding balance in the loan account even after the tenor of the loan agreement?
Every bank customer is entitled to receive his or her loan account statement either in a hard copy or a soft copy format on a regular basis from the bank.
It is your responsibility to keep track of your outstanding dues in the loan statement by reviewing the same on a periodic basis. This will not only help you to be aware of your outstanding balance correctly and in a timely manner, but also keep you posted with progress in repayments as they occur and as to when the monthly instalments were actually deducted from your account. The loan statements provided by your bank will also help you to know the number of instalment deferrals you have accepted in a year and what adverse effect it has on your planned repayment programme.
1. How Can I rectify wrong information in my credit report/ BCSB report?
You may raise an online complaint through your bank/brank and the respective department within CBO will track the status of your online complaint till closure.
2. My bank has given me No Objection Letter (NOC) but my BCSB report still showing I have old loans with “Active” status?
You can raise a complaint by downloading the form from BCSB page in CBO website www.cbo.gov.om and sending it along with all the supporting documents via email to BCSBsupport@cbo.gov.om
Commemorative, Banknotes and Coins:
1. Does the Central Bank of Oman sell commemorative coins?
Yes CBO sells commemorative coins and Uncut banknotes sheets.
2. How can one obtain commemorative coins and bank notes? How can I get an insight about technical specifications of notes, coins, and commemorative coins?
An interested buyer is required to visit CBO Head office to buy the coins or the commemorative or Uncut bank notes sheets. You can visit our online currency gallery for an insight on the technical specifications of currency notes and coins.
3. How do I know that my banknote is not counterfeit?
The technical specifications of notes and coins are very clearly mentioned on our website. You can visit the Currency Gallery and cross-check your currency note against the technical specifications provided therein.
4. How do I know about the historical evolution of the currencies in Oman?
The currency gallery on this website will give you a brief historical perspective of the evolution of different currencies in Oman.
5. Can I visit the Currency Museum with my family? What are the timings of the currency museum? What is the per head fee payable?
Yes. CBO currency museum is open for public between 9 am and 2 pm Sunday to Thursday. A nominal fee of 250 baisa is payable.
6. Does CBO sell uncut sheets of banknotes?
Yes CBO sells the Uncut banknotes sheets.
7. Do I need to make a booking to visit CBO’s Currency Museum?
No. You can straight away walk-in to the Customer Service Unit of CBO and from there you can request for a visit to the Currency Museum. CBO officials present at the Customer Service Unit will guide you with the further procedure.
8. How do I know which commemorative coins and bank notes are available for sale?
You can check the currency gallery on the website to know the availability of the commemorative coins and Uncut banknotes Sheets.
9. Can I buy the commemorative coins online?
No CBO doesn’t have any mechanism to sell the commemorative coins or the Uncut banknotes Sheets online at the moment. You have to personally visit the CBO Head Office in Ruwi to purchase the same.
10. I have few Omani currency notes with me. How do I exchange them in my home country?
You can exchange Omani currency notes in any of the money exchanges in your home country.