KARACHI: The General Assembly of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has appointed State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir as its chairman for 2022, a statement issued by the central bank said on Friday.
The IFSB General Assembly approved his appointment in its 19th meeting held on June 9, 2021, it said. On his appointment as the chairman for the 20th General Assembly, the SBP governor expressed his gratitude to IFSB Council and General Assembly members for their expression of confidence in him to steer this august forum and showed resolve that IFSB will continue to serve as one of the leading standard setting bodies in Islamic finance at the global level.
The standards developed by IFSB will help augment the regulatory and prudential frameworks for Islamic finance globally, he said.
Baqir is currently serving as the deputy chairman of the Council of IFSB, which is also a senior executive and policy making body, comprising 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, “full members”, “associate members” and “observer members”.
As of June 2021, there are 187 members of IFSB, which comprises 81 regulatory and supervisory authorities, 10 international inter-governmental organisations, and 96 market players, which include financial institutions, professional firms, industry associations and stock exchanges operating in 57 jurisdictions, the statement said.
The IFSB, established in 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is an international standard-setting organisation 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 State Bank of Pakistan has over the years adopted various IFSB prudential standards and guidelines after necessary customisation in light of the prevailing local legal and regulatory environment.
In Pakistan, currently there are five full-fledged Islamic banks and 17 conventional banks operating with standalone Islamic banking branches offering a wide array of Shariah-compliant financial solutions.
As of March 31, 2020, the market share of the Islamic banking industry assets and deposits in the overall banking sector stood at 17 per cent and 18.7 per cent, respectively, and the branch network of the Islamic banking institutions comprises over 3,456 branches and 1,638 windows.
The State Bank is fully committed to promote Islamic banking as envisioned in its third five-year strategic plan 2020/25 by setting a target of 30 per cent market share of Islamic banking in the overall banking industry.
Further, special emphasis on increasing financing to agriculture and SME sectors has also been made part of the strategic plan. The central bank has also received several global accolades in promoting Islamic banking in the country, it added.