Amwaj Island: Islamic finance industry needs to be more risk sensitive by employing effective risk management tools to cope with the uncertain economic climate, according to the Governor, Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
Dr Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor CBB in his opening address of the 23rd World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) which is being held at Art Rotana Hotel emphasized on the three-pronged strategy for the Islamic finance industry i.e. more focus on risk management; investing in people and the use technology to keep this segment of global economy afloat in face if numerous challenges.
Under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and with the official support of the CBB the conference attracted over 1,300 leaders to discuss the ways and means of a strategy and how to navigate through the complexity of the global financial system.
The world’s definitive compass of the Islamic banking and finance brought together industry leaders from across the globe including the Americas, UK and Europe to the MENASEA regions.
WIBC 2016’s opening session hosted Governors of Central Banks of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, and Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, Dr Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj. The keynote speeches also included the Governor of Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), Dr. Kairat Kelimbetov.
“Keeping in line with the theme of the conference – economic uncertainties: vigilance and growth we need to be more risk-sensitive in uncertain economic conditions. Risk management practices must be up to date, awareness levels high and risk mitigation in place,” Dr Al Maraj said.
Dr Al Maraj also highlighted the importance of the development of the human capital. “We need to groom a second line of management, a set of people whose ethical conduct, strategic thinking, leadership qualities and technical knowledge are at par. This is the only way to ensure, as much as possible, a lasting institutional legacy behind us.”
“The third point is about the smart use of technology, which is a game-changer in the banking business. Islamic banks must make full use of these technological enhancements and invest more in this space. Financial Technology or Fintech is leading the way.
“The CBB believes in embracing new technology and will soon be issuing regulations to facilitate Fintech solutions. We would like to see Islamic banks come forward and take the lead in this area.”
The Governor of the SAMA, Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, highlighted the importance of SAMA commitment to enhance financial stability, and said SAMA will continue to provide full regulatory support to Islamic finance and encourage its growth.
The Governors’ remarks were followed with an exceptional line-up of seasoned and respected industry practitioners who took stock of the challenges faced by Islamic banking on the global front and the stagnation in Sukuk issuance worldwide. The speakers also engaged in discussions relating to coping with the evolving global banking environment and the changes necessitated by the Basel III regulations. These talks were followed by the launch of three insightful intelligence reports and sessions on ethical finance and asset management.