Islamic Financial Services Board

13th Islamic Financial Stability Forum on Consumer Protection in Islamic Finance

The 13th Islamic Financial Stability Forum (IFSF) was successfully organised by the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) on 12 April 2016 and was held in Cairo, Egypt on 10-12 April 2016, hosted by the Central Bank of Egypt. The theme of Forum was Consumer Protection in Islamic Finance, and the main presentation was by Professor Volker Nienhaus, the Former President of Marburg University. He stated that while most of the issues in consumer protection cover both conventional and Islamic segments of the financial system, there are some risks pertinent to Islamic finance sector, such as Shariah non-compliance risk.

The IFSB and Banco De Espana to Organise Seminar on Islamic Finance: The Real Economy and the Financial Sector

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is organising a Seminar on Islamic Finance with the theme, "The Real Economy and the Financial Sector" on 24 May 2016 in Madrid, Spain, supported by the Banco de Espana and in collaboration with the IE Business School, Spain. This Seminar is part of the IFSB European Forum series, held in prominent financial centres in Europe. The one-day 'Seminar on Islamic Finance' is designed to encourage broad interaction among the delegates to explore the potential re-alignment of economic policy frameworks in a manner that strengthens the linkages between the real economy and the financial sector.

Sukuk issuance will remain stable in near term, says Islamic finance expert

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.

Bank of England joins IFSB Islamic finance body

The Bank of England has joined the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the second Western regulator to do so after Luxembourg. The BoE joins as an associate member, the 65th regulatory body to join the Kuala Lumpur-based body, bringing total membership to 189, the IFSB said in a statement. The move comes at a key time for Britain’s domestic Islamic banks, as the BoE works to grow the number of sharia-compliant assets they can use in their liquidity buffers, with progress expected by the turn of the year. The IFSB has also admitted the central bank of Kyrgyzstan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan as observer members.

The IFSB Introduces FIS E-Learning Portal to Facilitate Understanding of the IFSB Standards

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) introduced the FIS E-Learning Portal. The portal provides both IFSB members and non-member organisations a learning and knowledge management suite with a number of interactive features that will assist in developing and enhancing knowledge as well as understanding of IFSB standards. The E-modules will cover seven standards which have been transformed into a total of 14 E-Learning modules with a collective seat time of 15 hours. The modules are available by subscription. As an extension of the IFSB membership benefits, a certain number of complimentary subscriptions are made available to organisations from the various categories of IFSB membership.

IFSB to develop standards for Islamic capital markets, insurance

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).

Shari’ah scholars and industry stakeholders meet at IFSB-ISRA Shari’ah roundtable

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) have successfully organised a Shari’ah Roundtable themed, ‘Financial Safety Nets: Striking a Balance between Shari’ah Requirements and the Soundness of the Islamic Financial System’. The Roundtable was held on 5 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Roundtable aimed to provide a platform to Shari’ah scholars, legal practitioners, regulators and market players for having in-depth deliberations on key aspects of financial safety nets such as Lender of the Last Resort (LOLR) and Deposit Insurance Schemes from the Shari’ah perspective.
Over 70 delegates from nine jurisdictions among the IFSB members and non-member organisations – representatives from market players, regulatory bodies, and international agencies – Shari’ah scholars as well as academia attended this Roundtable.

Islamic Finance: Ushering in a New Era of Growth for Africa

Markets across Africa now offer a world of exciting growth opportunities, with experts projecting that 7 out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world will be in Africa. Djibouti is rapidly becoming an important hub for Islamic finance in Africa, with strong support coming from the President.
The Central Bank of Djibouti is leading the way in terms of driving the practical legal and regulatory framework. Djibouti's strong commitment to Islamic finance is further cemented by its drive to connect with memberships in important international industry organizations, such as the Islamic Financial Services Board and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions.

The IFSB Issues Working Paper on Financial Consumer Protection in Islamic Finance

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has issued a Working Paper on Financial Consumer Protection in Islamic Finance (WP-03). The objective of consumer protection requires that the regulator takes adequate measures to ensure that the claim made by a financial institution to sell its products and services is sufficiently justified. The Working Paper lists some important findings from behavioural economics on the relevance of financial consumers' information-processing capabilities and cognitive biases in ensuring the effectiveness of consumer protection measures. It also provides a summary of both traditional and new approaches to financial consumer protection.

IFSB issues Microtakaful regulation draft

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has issued the Exposure Draft of its joint paper with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). The ‘Issues in Regulation and Supervision of Microtakaful (Islamic Microinsurance)’ paper has been issued for public consultation until August 6, a statement said. It has invited comments from regulatory and supervisory authorities, international organisations, market players, academics and other interested parties, it said. The main objective of the Joint Paper is to highlight and identify regulatory issues prevailing in the Microtakaful sector and outline the role this sector can play in enhancing financial inclusion.

The IFSB launches Islamic Financial Services Industry Stability Report 2015

The Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, H.E. Kairat Kelimbetov, launched the Islamic Financial Services Industry (IFSI) Stability Report 2015 during the Opening Session of the 12th Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Summit on 20 May in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In essence, the IFSI Stability Report 2015 discusses the following topics: An overview of the IFSI as well as updates on trends and developments in the three sectors of the industry; Initiatives undertaken by international standard-setting bodies; Surveillance framework for the global financial system including identification of the gaps; Emerging issues in Islamic finance. The IFSI Stability Report 2015 aims to contribute to a wider cross-border engagement on stability issues in Islamic finance.

The IFSB and INCEIF renew cooperation agreement

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and INCEIF - The Global University of Islamic Finance have renewed an agreement to facilitate international cooperation between the two organisations to provide relevant activities relating to capacity building and awareness promotion in Islamic finance. This mutual co-operation aims to strengthen the efforts in promoting an exchange of information, undertaking research, development, training and education in the Islamic financial services industry. Under the first MoU, signed in 2012, the IFSB and INCEIF held a series of six Executive Forums (EF). he next Executive Forum on Islamic Finance, themed Building Momentum for Islamic Liquidity Management will be held on 3 - 4 June 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Upcoming IFSB Summit buoyed by encouraging new developments

As Islamic finance regulators and thought leaders converge on the commercial capital of Kazakhstan, Almaty, for the 12th Annual Summit of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the world of Islamic finance is buoyed by a series of encouraging developments in the weeks leading up to the Summit. The Summit is scheduled to be held on 20-21 May 2015. The transformational impact of the Islamic finance industry can only be truly enhanced inter alia if the requisite infrastructure is in place. As such, issues relating to ‘Core Principles for Islamic Finance: Integrating with the Global Regulatory Framework,’ the Summit theme, is pertinent and follows the adoption last month by the IFSB of a new Standard on Core Principles for Islamic Finance Regulation (CPIFR)(Banking Segment) (IFSB-17).

ADB and the IFSB launch joint publication on "Islamic Finance for Asia: Development, Prospects, and Inclusive Growth"

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) have announced the launch of a joint ADB-IFSB publication called "Islamic Finance for Asia: Development, Prospects, and Inclusive Growth". The book was launched by ADB Vice President, Stephen Groff during an ADB-IFSB panel discussion on "How Islamic Finance Can Contribute to Sustainable Growth in Asia", which took place on 4 May 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan, during the ADB Annual Meeting 2015. The publication is a resource for better understanding the Islamic financial services industry in Asia, and a reference for jurisdictions in other regions that aim to understand, introduce and develop Islamic finance.

IFSB announces the release of Islamic financial indicators for 15 member countries

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has announced the release of a set of indicators on the financial soundness and growth of the Islamic banking systems in 15 member countries. This initiative is in line with Article 4 of the IFSB Articles of Agreement. The indicators, called Prudential and Structural Islamic Financial Indicators (PSIFIs) capture information on the size, growth and structural features of Islamic banking systems and on their macroprudential condition by looking at measures of their capital, earnings, liquidity, and exposures to various types of risks. They also cover the indicators on capital adequacy and liquidity based on newly issued IFSB Standards to complement international regulatory reforms under the Basel III regime.

IFSB guidance for Islamic banks may spur sukuk issues, deposit insurance

The Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has released final guidance on liquidity risk management for Islamic banks, which may spur national authorities to issue more sukuk and establish sharia-compliant deposit insurance schemes. The guidance note, known as GN-6, clarifies the tools that Islamic banks can use to meet Basel III regulatory requirements, now being phased in for both conventional and sharia-compliant banks around the world. It defines the types of high-quality liquid assets (HQLA) that Islamic banks can hold and the weights that should be assigned to Islamic deposits.

Upcoming 12th IFSB Summit Gathers Momentum as Council Approves Adoption of Core Principles for Islamic Finance Regulation

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the prudential and supervisory standard-setting body for the estimated US2.3 trillion global Islamic finance industry, convenes its 12th Annual Summit on 19 - 21 May 2015 at the Rixos Almaty in Kazakhstan. The Summit, which is hosted by the National Bank of Kazakhstan, could not have a more pertinent theme: 'Core Principles for Islamic Finance: Integrating with the Global Regulatory Framework.' Indeed, the Council of the IFSB at its 26th Meeting, held in Jakarta, Indonesia in early April, approved the adoption of a new Standard on Core Principles for Islamic Finance Regulation (CPIFR)(Banking Segment), known as IFSB-17.

IFSB adds financial inclusion to Islamic banking's to-do list

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is adding financial inclusion to the industry's to-do list, launching initiatives aimed at widening the reach of sharia-compliant banking to include poorer people. After years of rapid growth, Islamic finance is under pressure from some scholars to build stronger credentials for social responsibility. One criticism is that it has neglected farmers, small traders and poor households. Guidance from the Kuala Lumpur-based IFSB could help address this issue in majority-Muslim countries where less wealthy people have stayed out of the formal banking system for religious reasons. The IFSB plans to include a dedicated work stream on financial inclusion in its new strategic performance plan 2016-2018.

IFSB Seminar Discusses Financial Inclusion and Islamic Finance

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) successfully organised a 'Seminar on Enhancing Financial Inclusion through Islamic Finance' on 31 March 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. This Seminar is organised in conjunction with the IFSB Annual Meetings and Side Events 2015. The one-day Seminar aimed to explore the role of Islamic finance in supporting financial inclusion, the building blocks necessary for the development and promotion of access to finance to the uncovered population and key success factors and challenges in promoting financial inclusion for greater shared prosperity, financial stability and economic growth. The Seminar was followed by the IFSB's 8th Public Lecture on Financial Policy and Stability on 1 April 2015.

The IFSB Council Adopts Core Principles for Islamic Finance Regulation (IFSB-17)

The Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has resolved to approve the adoption of a new Standard on Core Principles for Islamic Finance Regulation (Banking Segment) (IFSB-17). The main objective of IFSB-17 is to provide a set of Core Principles - along with associated assessment methodology - for the regulation and supervision of the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI), taking into consideration the specificities of the institutions offering Islamic financial services (IIFS) in the banking segment, the lessons learned from the financial crisis, and complementing the existing international standards.

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