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Bank Muscat launches escrow services for real estate sector

19 Dec 2019

Bank Muscat has become the first bank in Oman to launch escrow services in the country in line with Royal  Decree 30/2018 and Ministerial Decision No 72/2019 issued by the Ministry of Housing. It has now become mandatory for real estate developers to route all funds pertaining to real estate projects with off-plan sales into an escrow account. 

Through this service, Bank Muscat will act as an escrow agent, who will accept all funds and hold and release these funds in accordance with the progress of the project and as per the terms of the escrow account agreement, a press release said. 

With real estate business transactions becoming ever more sophisticated and complex, many participants now require that funds or other assets be held in escrow until the development is successfully completed, creating a greater demand for an experienced and efficient escrow services provider. An escrow services provider typically serves as a trusted middleman for payments between buyers and sellers.  

Ali Said Ali, DGM – agency and custody services at Bank Muscat, said, “Bank Muscat will provide escrow services through an Escrow Agency Agreement taking into consideration international best practices and local regulations. The use of this service will enhance controls and provide additional comfort to buyers, particularly those who are buying properties under construction, from diversion of funds by real estate developers to anything other than the intended purpose as stipulated in the escrow agreement. 

At the same time, developers will get access to timely payments that are based on project milestones.”  
“The bank will be a trusted neutral party that processes transactions in a timely manner. We particularly thank the Ministry of Housing and the Central Bank of Oman for their guidance and support in establishing this new service,” he added.  
Bank Muscat has been at the forefront of customer service excellence and strives to continually deliver high quality customer service. The bank deems service excellence aligned with world class products and services as the key to achieving customer satisfaction and surpassing customer expectations. 
 

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