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Bank Muscat says escrow account services will boost real estate sector

21 Apr 2021

Rising customer demand for escrow account services in the sultanate will benefit the country’s real estate sector, according to the sultanate’s largest financial institution.

After becoming the first bank in Oman to launch the specialised service in the country, Bank Muscat escrow account services are all set to boost the Omani real estate sector, Bank Muscat said in a press statement on Wednesday.

Through the escrow account services, Bank Muscat acts as an escrow agent, which accepts all funds and then releases these funds in accordance with the progress of a real estate project and as per the terms of the escrow agreement in line with Royal Decree 30/2018, Ministerial Decision 72/2019 issued by the Ministry of Housing and other regulatory norms.

‘Since its launch, the bank has been encouraged by the excellent customer appreciation and feedback that it has been receiving about this new service from both developers and buyers,’ Bank Muscat said.

The escrow account service ensures that the real estate developers are paid on a timely basis without delay from the buyers’ side and the buyers too enjoy the assurance of knowing that their payments are being used for the timely completion of the project.

With real estate transactions becoming more sophisticated and complex than ever in modern times, the sultanate made it compulsory for real estate developers to route all funds pertaining to real estate projects with off-plan sales into an escrow account.

An escrow services provider typically serves as a trusted middleman for payments between buyers and sellers. Funds will be released to a developer by the escrow services provider only as per the progress of the project and the terms of the agreement.

The announcement of the new law and the subsequent launch of escrow services by the bank has thus greatly boosted investor confidence in Oman’s real estate sector, Bank Muscat said.

Ali Said Ali, deputy general manager – agency and custody services at Bank Muscat, said, “The bank’s escrow services are based on local regulations and international best practices. Real estate buyers can rest assured that their funds are being used for the purpose of development and not for any unauthorised purposes when paying into an escrow account.”

 

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