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The IFSB successfully completes the first day of the 15th IFSB Summit under the theme ‘Digital Transformation of Islamic Finance: Innovation and Resilience’

Date posted: 10 November 2021

10 November 2021, Jeddah –The first day of the 15th IFSB Summit, hosted by the Saudi Central Bank and held at the Ritz Carlton, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, featured high-profile speakers across three sessions focusing on developments and policy implications related to digital transformation, cyber security and crypto assets.

The first session on “Digital Transformation of Islamic Financial Services: Opportunities, Challenges and Policy Implications” was chaired by H.E. Dr. Reza Baqir, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan and featured the distinguished panelists H.E. Dr. Perry Warjiwo, Governor, Bank Indonesia, H.E. Rasheed M. Al-Maraj, Governor, Central Bank of Bahrain, H.E. Saddek El Kaber, Governor, Central Bank of Libya, and H.E. Tahir bin Salim bin Abdullah Al Amri, Executive President, Central Bank of Oman.  The session highlighted that regulators’ have a role to play as enablers and promoters of digitalisation, noting the potential of digital transformation to reach the unbanked population. The discussion further touched on the approaches taken in facilitating Fintech through sandbox approaches and the development of legal frameworks to facilitate digitalisation of the financial sector. The panel also discussed the ways in which IFSB can lead the way in digital transformation of the Islamic financial services industry, including through greater participation of its members, engaging Sharīʿah scholars, as well as through capacity-building and enabling exchange of information and ideas between members.

The second session, “Cyber Resilience of Islamic Financial Institutions: Cybersecurity Regulation and Supervisory Practices”, was chaired by H.E. Dr. Feras Milhem, Governor, Palestine Monetary Authority and featured the distinguished panelists, H.E. Abu Farah Md Nasser, Deputy Governor, Bank Bangladesh, H.E. Aishah Ndanusa Ahmad, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Mr. Omar Mustafa Ansari, Secretary General, AAOIFI. The session highlighted that digital transformation should ensure resilience to cyberattacks, noting the importance of adopting preventive approaches rather than reactive approaches to minimise cyber risks. The panelists further discussed the importance of reporting of cyber risks, exchange of information and continuous monitoring, as well as global coordination and strengthening the governance component, in addition to capacity-building to strengthen cyber resilience.

The third session on, “Crypto-assets and their implications for Islamic finance: Ongoing work, regulatory approaches and potential gaps” was chaired by Mr. Ayman Sejiny, Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Corporation for the  Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and featured the distinguished panelists, Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, Executive Director, International Sharīʿah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA), Mr. Hassan Usman, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Jaiz Bank Nigeria Plc, Mr. Zeiad Idris, Chief Executive Officer, Algrba and Mr. Khalid Howladar, Head (Credit & Sukuk Advisory), RJ Fleming & Co. The session highlighted that the developments in the crypto asset space requires the industry to act accordingly, touching on Sharīʿah screening for crypto assets, differences in Sharīʿah implications related to different types of crypto assets and possible Sharīʿah issues that may need to be considered, as well as the potential of crypto assets to create a more inclusive Islamic financial system.

The 15th IFSB Summit 2021 continues into Day 2 on 11 November, which will see discussions on FinTech and Islamic financial services, effective use of SupTech and RegTech, and the role of technology in Islamic financial services to improve financial inclusion and sustainability.

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