(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The year 2012 was filled with momentous occasions for HSBC as the bank's operations in Oman, represented by HSBC Middle East Ltd, joined forces with Oman International Bank to become a major player in Oman's evolving banking sector. The merger was completed in June 2012 and the new entity, HSBC Bank Oman SAOG, was born, bringing with it a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Systems integration and brand reveal were officially marked in December 2012 at a ceremony held at HSBC Bank Oman's iconic golden door head office in Al Khuwayr. The bank's chairman, Simon Cooper, its chief executive officer, Ewan Stirling, the board of directors and senior leadership team joined HE Dr Omar bin Abdulmuneim al Zawawi, special adviser to His Majesty for external liaison and HE Hamood bin Sangour al Zadjali, executive president of the Central Bank of Oman, to celebrate the new entity's emergence into Oman's robust banking sector.
According to a press release, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited started its operations in Oman in 1947 and was instrumental in establishing a modern banking system in the sultanate as well as being a key partner in the country's growth. Today, HSBC Bank Oman is the second largest bank in the sultanate in terms of branch network, with over 80 branches, 143 ATMs and a workforce of more than 1,000 employees that are now part of HSBC's global operations of around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories.
The merger has reinforced the bank's commitment to Oman and its people to help more families and businesses unlock their potential and maximise local and international opportunities. During the six months since the merger was first announced, significant efforts have been made to combine the two banks and ensure all of the branches meet HSBC's international standard and offer the same consistent high quality of service.
The bank has invested heavily in new technology to streamline operations and develop a single systems platform to make the transition as smooth as possible for the bank's 400,000 retail customers and 10,000 corporate clients. In December, all OIB branches were rebranded to unite the bank's branches in the sultanate's various governorates with HSBC's signature red hexagon logo. The impact of the behind- the-scenes changes will be felt in the new products, banking platforms as well as HSBC's global access.