The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) launched its annual Survey on the Implementation of IFSB Standards. The Survey is directed to the member regulatory and supervisory authorities (RSAs) to assess their progress in implementing the IFSB Standards. According to Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary-General of the IFSB, the Survey is useful in providing feedback on the progress and major constrains faced by the authorities. In 2015 a total of 39 RSAs from 27 countries responded and overall 18 RSAs have implemented at least one IFSB standard. In the banking sector, nine RSAs have already implemented more than 50% of the standards. The results of the Implementation Survey 2016 are planned to be presented to the IFSB Technical Committee and Council in early 2017.
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) sees a potential for an increase of sukuk funding in 2016 in line with regulatory reforms in the industry such as Basel III and Guidance Note 6 (GN-6). Secretary-General Jaseem Ahmed said sovereign sukuk sector might gain momentum this year on the back of increased budget deficits, particularly in the energy-exporting countries. He added that Islamic banking assets showed a positive association with oil revenues while the liquidity and profitability of Islamic banks might be adversely affected by low oil prices.
Sukuk issuance for the near term will remain stable despite current global economic uncertainties, as it is seen as a resilient financing instrument to weather through difficult times, according to Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) secretary-general Jaseem Ahmed. This is because the issuance of the Islamic finance instrument is very much dependent on preconditions of a particular country, and not solely or directly correlated to current economic and market volatility, he said. However, he added that while current concerns regarding global headwinds are not to be underestimated, many governments are recognising that it does help to have a diverse source of income.
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is pleased to announce the second dissemination of its Prudential and Structural Islamic Financial Indicators (PSIFIs) from 16 member countries. The PSIFI data, which aims to provide data on the financial soundness and growth of the Islamic banking systems in participating IFSB member jurisdictions, covers the quarterly data from December 2013 to December 2014.
Secretary-General of the IFSB, Mr Jaseem Ahmed stated that "The support of multilateral organisations - such as the IMF, ADB and IDB - have greatly assisted the progress on this project. It is our aim to continue to expand the scope of the PSIFI to include the participation of new jurisdictions, as well as expansion of data to the Islamic capital market and Takaful sectors of the industry".
The Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) plans to develop guiding principles for capital markets and insurance, seeking to encourage regulatory consistency across new and established markets, its secretary general said.
The new guidelines from the 188-member IFSB, one of the main standard-setting bodies for Islamic finance, will complement existing ones which cover commercial banking.
A wider set of standards could assist the International Monetary Fund which plans to include Islamic finance in its surveillance work, known as the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP).
"Before the FSAP there has to be a set of core principles and that really is the instrument that we feel is going to point the way and facilitate consistency across borders," IFSB secretary-general Jaseem Ahmed told Reuters.
The standards on capital markets and Islamic insurance (takaful) would complement regulatory guidance from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
In his Keynote Address at the 2014 London Sukuk Summit on 18 June, Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary-General, Islamic Financial Services Board, noted that the high growth rate of the Islamic finance industry has led to the emergence of Islamic finance sectors that have attained systemic importance in a number of key economies in Asia and the wider Gulf and Middle East. The second aspect of the global IF industry he highlighted is that rapid growth of Islamic finance is taking place in a group of nations that display wide variation in their market, institutional and policy and regulatory development. The IFSB Secretary General noted that the key priority is to find the resources and organisational modes and partnerships that help committed jurisdictions to meet the challenges they face, and wish for assistance in addressing.
The European Central Bank and the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) are conducting a joint study on policies affecting Islamic finance in Europe. European scholars and regulators are going to examine a broad set of policy and regulatory issues in relation to Islamic finance in Europe. An expected release date was not given. The study will be complemented on April 9 by the IFSB's annual forum, which will be hosted by the Bank of Italy in Rome.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) shall cooperate in the promoting of Islamic finance in common developing member countries. The cooperation should be based on joint technical assistance and/or policy-based work in member countries.
New Secretary-General Jaseem Ahmed, summit host, Yves Mersch, Gov. Banque centrale du Luxembourg and Faris Sharaf, the chairman of the IFSB governing council and governor of the Central Bank of Jordan were very happy about the good results of the global Islamic financial services industry, considering the challenging environment presented by the recent international financial crisis.
For Islamic finance in particular, the pressing issue is the need to assure that the regulatory and supervisory framework for Islamic finance is consistent with ongoing global regulatory and supervisory reforms. This is particularly important since Islamic finance is rapidly being conventionalized and increasingly integrated into global financial markets.
The appointment last week by the council of governors of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) of Jaseem Ahmed as its new secretary-general comes at a time when the prudential and supervisory standard setting organization of the global Islamic finance industry is poised to enter its next stage of development since it was first established in 2002.
Ahmed’s appointment was confirmed at the 17th meeting of the council of governors that was held in Jeddah.
Jaseem Ahmed was appointed Secretary General by the Islamic Financial Services Board.
Ahmed, who currently serves as the Director of the Southeast Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank, succeeds Datuk Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim to become only the second secretary general of the standard setting organisation.