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The 3rd IFSB Innovation Forum and the Members’ Sharing Session held alongside the 15th IFSB Summit

Date posted: 9 November 2021

09 November, Jeddah - The IFSB Members’ Sharing Session aimed at providing a platform for industry and stakeholder engagement, and the 3rd Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Innovation Forum aimed at showcasing digital transformation initiatives in the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI), were held alongside the 15th IFSB Summit at the Ritz Carlton, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Members’ Sharing Session under the theme “Strengthening the Institutional and Market Infrastructure of Islamic finance – Implementation of Regulatory Standards and the Work Ahead” was organised as part of the IFSB’s initiatives to provide an interactive platform for IFSB member organisations and the IFSI stakeholders to engage with the IFSB on industry and regulatory issues, and to explore ways to address them. The session provided an opportunity for members to provide input and feedback to the IFSB to ensure that the activities planned and conducted by the IFSB are of relevance and are in line with the needs of its stakeholders.

Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta, Secretary-General of the IFSB, in his presentation, briefed the delegates on the IFSB’s role and the ongoing work of the IFSB in supporting the industry’s stability and resilience. In his presentation, Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta also shared the IFSB’s commitment to further enhance services to the IFSB member organisations. An interactive panel discussion moderated by Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta, and featuring Assistant Secretaries-General of the IFSB, Dr. Rifki Ismal, and Mr. Suhail Issa Al Zadjali, responded to valuable questions and comments by the IFSB members regarding training and capacity building, implementation of the IFSB standards and technical activities of the IFSB.

The 3rd Innovation Forum, under the theme “Digital Transformation of the Islamic Finance Industry: Industry Case Studies” aimed to cultivate innovative thinking and dialogue in the IFSI, to foster the development of a competitive, sound and innovative industry. The focus of the Forum was on technological innovations in the IFSI that create a competitive edge for the IFSI in the digital era and its contribution to furthering the growth of Islamic finance, while also identifying potential regulatory and supervisory considerations arising from such practices. The theme of the Forum complemented the overall theme of the 15th IFSB Summit and was intended to provide an opportunity for the industry to share their strategies, initiatives and case studies on the digital transformation of the Islamic finance sector. 

Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta, Secretary-General of the IFSB in his opening remarks, stated that “the pace of change together with the borderless nature of technology, requires an appropriate level of regulatory and supervisory oversight and the unique challenge for regulators is to try to ensure resilience of the IFSI while not getting in the way of beneficial innovation” He also highlighted that “as part of its mandate, the IFSB aims to keep abreast of the emerging trends brought about by digital transformation to identify the risks they present, and in particular, the gaps it presents in the regulation of the Islamic finance sector”, further noting that “it is important for authorities to increase collaboration both at the national level as well as at the international level.”

An interactive panel discussion moderated by Dr. Rifki Ismal and featuring Dr. Zamir Iqbal, Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Dr. Yahia Abdul-Rahman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, LARIBA Bank of Whittier and Dr. Hilal Hussain, Team Leader (Knowledge Solutions), IsDB Institute, discussed the e-Disbursement Portal (EDP) and sustainable finance initiatives; Wise-FinTech Banking and Riba free banking at LARIBA Bank of Whittier, and; digital vouchers built on blockchain technology for financial inclusion, respectively.

The one-day pre-Summit events on the whole, provided a platform for IFSB members and non-members to come together and exchange ideas and share their Islamic finance initiatives and experiences in supporting the growth of a sound and stable Islamic financial services industry, in line with the IFSB’s mandate to create a platform for cooperation among its members that will promote the development of Islamic finance and strengthen the global resilience of the Islamic finance industry. The events were hosted by the Saudi Central Bank. 

The SAMA-IFSB Report was also launched during the pre-Summit events, by the H.E. Dr. Fahad Aldossari, Deputy Governor, International Affairs & Research, Saudi Central Bank and Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta, Secretary-General of the IFSB.

The 15th IFSB Summit will begin tomorrow on 10 and 11 November 2021. For more information of the Summit, visit www.ifsbksa2021.com.

 


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