41st Council meeting of IFSB concludes in Islamabad


The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) hosted the 41st Council meeting of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) on December 15, 2022 at Islamabad.
The meeting was presided over by the Governor SBP, Mr. Jameel Ahmad, who is also the Chairman of the IFSB council for 2022. The meeting was attended by the Governors and senior officials of the central banks. During this meeting council held discussions and made various strategic and policy level decisions for IFSB.
Earlier, SBP also hosted some other high-level side events which included 15th IFSB public lecture session on ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Islamic finance philosophy: the way forward’. In this public lecture, the renowned international speakers shared valuable insights as how the principles of Islamic finance may help in embracing the United Nations’ agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
On this occasion, Governor SBP, Mr. Jameel Ahmad said that our final destination is to have an inclusive Islamic financial system that meet the Maqasid-e-Shariah (objectives of Shariah) and expectations of stakeholders. While drawing linkage with the public lecture, Mr. Jameel Ahmad mentioned that UN Sustainable Development Goals are fully aligned with the Maqasid; be it poverty reduction or financial inclusion; health or education; environment protection or availability of infrastructure; gender diversity or low cost housing; all are 100% aligned with Maqasid-e-Shariah.
He advised banks to reap the untapped potential of Islamic banking as there exist a huge demand for the same in the country. He assured the banks’ CEOs & Presidents that SBP will continue supporting them through conducive policy and regulatory framework, fully aligned to promote Islamic finance.
The first public lecture was delivered by a renowned international Islamic finance scholar, Dr. Sami Ibrahim Al Suwailem, Chief Economist Islamic Development Bank. In his lecture, he shared his thoughts on role of Islamic finance in actualizing SDGs. He said that whole concept of sustainable development is based on the ability to see the future clearly enough to plan and sustain resources, not only for this generation but for the coming generations as well. Moral values help to balance the present versus the future. The lack of this balance is a significant factor behind the environmental threats that humanity faces today.
Mr. Irfan Siddiqui – Founding President & CEO, Meezan Bank also addressed the participants of the 15th IFSB public lecture on the topic. Mr. Siddiqui spoke on various topics including correct implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the need for Riba-free financial services and of greater Islamic financial inclusion in the country.
He elaborated how the concepts of sustainability are intrinsically weaved into Islamic teachings. He concluded his address with a summary of the various initiatives taken by Meezan Bank towards quality education, green energy, poverty reduction and development of sustainable infrastructure.
SBP also hosted the IFSB Members & Industry Engagement Session on December 14, 2022. In the industry engagement session, Secretary General of IFSB apprised the participants about the activities of IFSB and benefits available to its members in different membership categories. The event was attended by CEOs of banks and non-banking financial institutions, asset management companies, brokerage firms and academic institutions.
On this occasion, Deputy Governor, Ms. Sima Kamil also shared her thoughts with regard to current growth trends of Islamic banking in the country and IFSB role in the sustainable development of Islamic finance. During the side events, SBP in collaboration with IFSB also arranged two capacity building workshops, one each for the banking and non-banking sectors.
The capacity building workshops have been attended by over 140 senior level officials of banks and non-banking financial institutions. The international experts of IFSB discussed the various prudential standards issued by the IFSB.
Over the years, Islamic finance has witnessed a healthy growth pattern across the jurisdictions. According to IFSB’s global Islamic financial services stability report 2022, the total worth of the global Islamic Financial Services Industry (Islamic Banking, Islamic Capital Markets and Takaful) increased to an estimated USD 3.06 trillion in 2021 from USD 2.75 trillion in 2020.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the IFSB was established in 2003 as an international standard-setting organization of regulatory and supervisory agencies to promote and enhance the soundness and stability of global Islamic financial services industry by issuing prudential standards and guiding principles for the Islamic finance industry.
The IFSB Council is the apex senior-level executive and policymaking body of the IFSB, which consists of Central Bank Governors and the highest level executives from leading regulatory and supervisory authorities in respective countries.
Presently, IFSB has 187 members comprising 80 regulatory and supervisory authorities, 10 international inter-governmental organizations, and 97 market players (financial institutions, professional firms, industry associations and stock exchanges) operating in 57 jurisdictions.
The mandate of the IFSB Council, among others, is to approve by-laws, policies, strategies and prudential and supervisory standards for the global Islamic financial services industry. SBP, being the founding and full member of the IFSB, has played an active role in achieving the objectives of the IFSB through representation in its various committees, task forces, working groups and other high profile forums.