Good customer demand for Escrow Accounts to benefit real-estate sector

Business Wednesday 21/April/2021 17:49 PM
By: Times News Service
Good customer demand for Escrow Accounts to benefit real-estate sector
Ali Said Ali, Deputy General Manager - Agency & Custody Services, Bank Muscat

Muscat: 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.

Through this service, 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. It is important to note that the new service ensures that developers are paid on a timely basis without delay from the buyers’ side and the buyers 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.

Ali Said Ali, Deputy General Manager - Agency & Custody Services, said: “As the leading financial services provider in Oman, Bank Muscat continuously delivers high-quality world-class services and solutions that are aligned with its customer-centric vision. 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.

"Developers will at the same time get access to payments based on completion of project milestones as per the agreement. As a trusted neutral party that is aligned to the best interests of both buyers and sellers, the bank will verify the completion of different milestones and process transactions accordingly. Sellers can rest assured that the system will encourage buyers to make payments without any delay and they will be able to access the funds in a timely manner to complete the project on schedule.”

All Bank Muscat products and services have evolved based on customer feedback and is meant to fulfil their financial needs and aspirations in an ever-changing world. The commitment to customers is the key to achieving strategic objectives, thereby establishing sustainable, long-term business relationships in communities where the bank operates.