Dr. Reza Baqir, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), has been appointed Chairman of the Islamic Financial Services Board’s (IFSB) General Assembly for 2022.
Dr. Baqir extended his gratitude to the IFSB Council and General Assembly members for their confidence in him to lead the august forum, and reaffirmed his commitment to the IFSB continuing to serve as one of the major standard establishing bodies in Islamic finance on a global scale.
He stated that the IFSB’s standards will contribute to the global enhancement of Islamic finance’s regulatory and prudential frameworks.
Dr. Baqir is currently the Deputy Chairman of the IFSB Council — a senior executive and policy-making body comprised of the heads of Islamic finance regulatory and supervisory authorities.
The IFSB General Assembly is the highest representative body for the organization’s three membership categories: ‘full members,’ ‘associate members,’ and ‘observer members.’
The IFSB now has 187 members, including 81 regulatory and supervisory bodies, ten international intergovernmental organisations, and 96 market participants from 57 jurisdictions, including financial institutions, professional firms, industry groups, and stock exchanges.
The IFSB was founded in 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as an international standard-setting organisation dedicated to promoting and enhancing the soundness and stability of the global Islamic financial services industry through the publication of prudential standards and guiding principles.
To bolster the regulatory and supervisory infrastructure for the Islamic banking industry, the SBP has embraced a variety of IFSB prudential norms and guidelines over the years, with necessary adaptations to the local legal and regulatory environment.
Pakistan now has five fully-fledged Islamic banks and seventeen conventional banks that operate freestanding Islamic banking branches and offer a broad range of Shariah-compliant financial products.
As of 31 March 2020, the Islamic banking industry’s market share of assets and deposits in the entire banking sector was 17% and 18.7%, respectively, and the Islamic banking institutions’ branch network consists of over 3,456 branches and 1,638 windows.
The SBP is firmly committed to promoting Islamic banking, as outlined in its third five-year strategy plan 2020-25, with a target of 30% market share for Islamic banking in the broader banking industry.
Additionally, as part of its strategy plan, the bank places a specific emphasis on growing loans to farmers and small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, the SBP has garnered numerous international plaudits for its efforts to promote Islamic banking in Pakistan.