Muscat: HSBC Bank Oman announced a net profit of OMR3.1 million, representing a 45.6 per cent decrease over the same period last year, which had benefitted from large recoveries, release of a portion of the general provision and earnings from one-off fees.
Net interest income was flat at OMR11.5 million for the quarter compared to the same period last year. The bank's operating expenses were also flat at OMR12.3 million compared to the first quarter in 2013.
David Eldon, Chairman of HSBC Bank Oman, said, "At our Annual General Meeting in March, we talked about how we had been spending a lot of time and effort putting in place stronger foundations for the future and that we remain focused on building the leading bank in Oman, by delivering the best customer experience. We will achieve this through a clear strategy of growing revenues, streamlining processes and procedures, and implementing the highest global standards to protect the Bank, our shareholders and our customers against the growing risks of financial crime."
He added, "Clearly, the period between our AGM and announcing our first quarter results does not give time to evidence an improvement in performance although we remain encouraged by early signs of improved activity. This is particularly noticeable in our Retail Banking & Wealth Management business, where in January, we introduced a new, more customer-centric way of serving retail banking customers. This reflects our strategy to treat customers openly and fairly, encouraging staff to better understand customers' financial needs and tailoring the Bank's services to meet these needs."
HSBC Bank Oman continued its branch investment programme, with more branches fully refurbished to help deliver the very best in-branch customer experience. In addition, the Bank recruited a new Head of Business Banking for the important SME segment as it continues to demonstrate its support of Oman's national agenda.
HSBC Bank Oman also strengthened its processes and procedures, significantly enhancing its payments infrastructure such that salary payments, for example, are now being processed at an accuracy rate of over 99 per cent.