Governor SBP launches Islamic Banking Media Campaign

Karachi: Yaseen Anwar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan has said concerted efforts are required for enhancing the depth and breadth of Islamic banking industry while launching the Mass Media Campaign for Promotion of Islamic banking, Thursday.

Governor SBP told the audience that, with support of SBP, Islamic banking has shown significant growth rate of above 30 percent annually, comprising 8.6 percent in terms of assets and 10 percent in terms of deposits. However, he added that “the industry both internationally and domestically remains at an evolutionary phase.”

The Governor reminded the audience that modern Islamic finance starting off with some local initiatives catering to the needs of faith sensitive individuals had evolved into a dynamic industry. “Growing annually by more than 20 percent the Islamic financial industry has spread beyond Muslim countries and is now operative in more than 75 countries with a network of 430 Islamic banks and financial institutions managing assets of more than US $ 1.3 trillion,” he added.

He said that the stability and resilience of Islamic financial industry had attracted wider acceptability of this system as a viable alternative to conventional banking.

He further said the “State Bank of Pakistan has played a leading role in the promotion and development of Islamic banking in the country on sound footings.” SBP has not only provided a comprehensive legal, regulatory, and supervisory framework but also remained active in creating awareness by arranging seminars, focused group discussions and conferences.

The SBP is at an advanced stage of issuing a detailed Shariah Governance Framework that will crystallize the roles of various organs of IBIs including the Board of Directors, the executive management and Shariah Boards and will improve overall Shariah compliance levels in IBIs.

According to Mr. Anwar, there still exists a significant population that is either unaware of Islamic banking or has some confusion and misconceptions about its current paradigm. SBP has thus mobilized the industry to launch nationwide mass media campaign to create awareness and address the perception issues.

The Governor said “Mass Media Campaign for Promotion of Islamic Banking would be instrumental in clearing the misconceptions and also in promoting Islamic banking as a viable and competitive banking system”. Mr. Anwar assured the Islamic banking industry of SBP’s full support and ownership for all such initiatives.

Earlier, Director, Islamic Banking Department, Saleemullah briefly outlined the components of Media Campaign. President and CEO of Meezan Bank, Irfan Siddiqui highlighted the role and support of SBP for promoting Islamic banking. President, Alfalah Bank, Atif Aslam Bajwa emphasized that the industry should focus on producing quality Islamic bankers to meet the fast increasing HR needs of the industry.