The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been declared the best central bank for promoting Islamic finance for the year 2018. The coveted award has been conferred by Islamic Finance News (IFN), an arm of REDmoney Group, Malaysia.
The IFN Award is the global endorsement of SBP’s initiatives for the promotion of Islamic banking in Pakistan. The award reflects an international recognition of the strategic measures undertaken by SBP to put in place the most conducive policy environment for Islamic banking to prosper.
The category of the Best Central Bank in Promoting Islamic Finance is always one of the most closely fought contests with regulators battling for the supremacy through exceptional advances made, during the year, in the ﬁeld of regulation and standardization. SBP is honored to have won this award for the third time in last four years. Previously, SBP was bestowed with this coveted award in 2015 and 2017.
Islamic banking industry in Pakistan has posted an impressive growth in 2018 with its assets reaching almost 13% of banking sector and deposits accounting for nearly 15% of the total banking industry deposits. “The support of Pakistan’s central bank is driving progress in the wider Islamic banking sector, and the country’s Shariah compliant institutions are posting impressive results”, IFN quoted.
It is worth noting that during the year Pakistan witnessed growing interest of the players thereby enabling the industry to expand its footprint, with two new institutions getting license to offer Islamic banking products and services.
SBP also introduced Shariah compliant version of Long Term Financing Facility (LTFF) enabling Islamic banking customers to avail subsidized financing from Islamic banks for setting up export oriented projects.
Different measures were also undertaken to augment the regulatory framework for Islamic banking industry besides taking initiatives for capacity building to facilitate development of human resource for this ever growing market.