The establishment of the Central Bank of Oman in the beginning of 1974 was a natural outcome of the steady evolution of the monetary system in the Sultanate of Oman coupled with the prospects of the vast economic developments the country was about to witness. Until 1970, when H.M.Sultan Qaboos bin Said took over, there was no national authority responsible for the supervision of the incipient banking system. The number of banks was small and the banking activities were limited in scales.
The two monetary authorities that preceded the establishment of the Central Bank of Oman, namely the Muscat Currency Authority in 1970 and the Oman Currency Board in 1972, were not vested with full banking status, but, they had well prepared the ground for the emergence of the Central Bank of Oman.
However the major event heralding the eminent creation of the Central Bank of Oman was the launching of the Banking Law in 1974 (which was amended vide Royal Decree No. 114/2000).
The steady expansion of the banking sector has resulted in subsequent rise in the number of commercial banks' branches opened in various parts of the Sultanate. By the end of 2007, the number of branches opened by commercial banks in the whole country stood at 361 branches (in additions to 23 branches of 2 specialized banks, namely:
Oman Housing Bank, Oman Development Bank) as against 55 branches in 1975. To render services to the branches of the Commercial banks,the Central Bank of Oman opened two branches, one in Salalah, in the South in 1978, and the other in Sohar, in the North, in 1988. CBO's services through the establishment of these branches cover a wide range of essential banking activities such as clearing house facilities, inter bank transfers, issuance and redeeming of currency, selling commemorative Currency, and accepting old currency for new one.
The general superintendence and direction of the Central Bank's affairs is vested in the Board of Governors. The Board has full authority to perform all acts required for the management and operations of the Central Bank and supervision of the banking business in the Sultanate.
The Board of Governors consists of seven members appointed by H.M. the Sultan. The Board is vested with a wide range of powers including the issuance of regulations pertinent to the proper implementation of the Banking Law, regulations regarding levels and rates of discount and rediscount of commercial papers, regulations regarding capital adequacy, appointment of Bank personnel and description of jobs and other regulations deemed necessary.
The first chairman of the Board of Governors was the late His Highness Tariq bin Taimoor Al Said (1974 – 1980). The composition of the present Board of Governors is as follows:
H.E. Dr. Ali bin Mohammed bin Moosa,
Deputy Chairman- CBO
Chairman - Tender Board
H.E. Sultan Bin Salim Bin Said Al Habsi,
Under Secretary Ministry of Finance
Hamood bin Sangour bin Hashim Al Zadjali CBO Executive President
Yahya bin Saeed bin Abdullah Al Jabri (Member)
Mohsin bin Haidar bin Darwish (Member)
Dr. Hatim bin Bakheet Al Shanfari (Member)
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