The Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr. Reza Baqir, has been appointed as the Chairman of the General Assembly of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) for 2022.
At his appointment as the Chairman for the 20th General Assembly, Dr. Baqir expressed his gratitude to the IFSB Council and the General Assembly members for their confidence in him to steer the august forum, and voiced his resolve for the IFSB to continue to serve as one of the leading standard setting bodies in Islamic finance at the global level.
He added that the standards developed by the IFSB will help to globally augment the regulatory and prudential frameworks for Islamic finance.
Dr. Baqir is currently serving as the Deputy Chairman of the Council of the IFSB – a senior executive and policy-making body comprising the heads of the regulatory and supervisory authorities on Islamic finance.
The IFSB General Assembly is the apex representative body of its three categories of members, namely the ‘full members’, the ‘associate members’, and the ‘observer members’.
There are currently 187 members of the IFSB which comprises 81 regulatory and supervisory authorities, 10 international inter-governmental organizations, and 96 market players that include financial institutions, professional firms, industry associations, and stock exchanges operating in 57 jurisdictions.
Established in 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the IFSB is an international standard-setting organization that promotes and enhances the soundness and stability of the global Islamic financial services industry by issuing prudential standards and guiding principles for the industry.
To strengthen the regulatory and supervisory infrastructure for the Islamic banking industry, the SBP has adopted various IFSB prudential standards and guidelines over the years after necessary customization in light of the prevailing local legal and regulatory environment.
Pakistan currently has five full-fledged Islamic banks and 17 conventional banks that are operating with standalone Islamic banking branches while offering a wide array of Shariah-compliant financial solutions.
As of 31 March 2020, the market share of the Islamic banking industry assets and deposits in the overall banking sector had stood at 17 percent and 18.7 percent respectively, and the branch network of the Islamic banking institutions comprises over 3,456 branches and 1,638 windows.
The SBP is fully committed to promoting Islamic banking as envisioned in its third five year strategic plan 2020-25 by setting a target of a 30 percent market share of Islamic banking in the overall banking industry.
Furthermore, there is a special emphasis on increasing financing to the agriculture and SME sectors as part of its strategic plan. The SBP has also received several global accolades for promoting Islamic banking in Pakistan.