Scholar Fees Targeted by Regulators: Islamic Finance

Bankers and officials from Bahrain to Indonesia are standardizing documents and bond structures to limit impediments caused by varying interpretations of Shariah law. Due to the lack of standardization, there is indeed too much reliance on scholars. A well-respected expert can charge between $500 and $1,000 an hour in the Middle East. The scholars' reputations can heavily influence the success of a product, driving demand for a select group of experts and leading to inflated earnings. A central Shariah board at the central bank level could easily take care of it or an international standards setter.