Addressing a press conference at the bank's head office in Al Khuwayr on Sunday, Ewan Stirling, CEO of HSBC Bank Oman, said that the bank's entire branch and ATM network will be rebranded by the end of this month.
He said, “Our entire branch and ATM network will gradually be re-branded with the HSBC logo starting on December 8 with a target completion date of end of the month. The signage of the bank’s 88 branches in the sultanate’s various governorates will now be HSBC’s signature red hexagon logo. In just 112 days, employees of HSBC and OIB have managed to meet many challenges and complexities to achieve integration on time.”
When asked whether HSBC has plans to launch Sharia-compliant products and services in Oman, Stirling said, “The Central Bank of Oman has still not finalised the regulatory framework. We will await the final regulatory framework, like all other banks, and make a decision based on business merits.”
He said, “In addition to bringing all our customers on to a single banking platform, every HSBC Bank Oman cardholder now has access to every ATM in Oman after upgrading 107 former OIB machines and linking them to the OmanNet National Switch Network. We are now the second largest bank in Oman in terms of branch network and also hold the No 3 position in terms of assets.”
Currently, the bank has a total of 88 branches and 143 ATMs across the sultanate. It has a retail customer base of approximately 400,000 and another 10,000 commercial customers, Stirling said. “The bank's workforce now comprises more than 1,000 people and our goal is retention,” he added.
Stirling said that more than 89,000 cards and welcome packs have been distributed to customers in less than one month, and the deadline has been extended to December 31 for customers to collect the packs. “With their new cards, customers will be able to utilise the advantages of the bank’s recently upgraded ATM network. All OIB accounts were automatically converted into new HSBC accounts on November 23.”
Stirling said that the bank is rationalising its branch network. “Where synergies arise, such as two branches close together, the bank will look to optimise the location. Duplicate or inefficient branches might be combined or closed, with on-going review of locations to ensure all branches are strategically placed. Such decisions to merge branches are subject to CBO approval and will be based on physical proximity, quality of branch environment and expiring leases.”