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Friday, 3 August 2012

Pakistan: Islamic banking evolving, spreading rapidly said ACCI

The Attock Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said on Thursday that Islamic banking was fast spreading in the country and its growth rate was very impressive. "A decade back Pakistan had only one Islamic bank while now we have five Islamic banks and Islamic banking branches representing all the top ten conventional banks," ACCI President Tariq Mehmood said in a statement. 

Seventy five countries have recognised Islamic banking while major banks including HSBC, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered have Islamic banking branches or windows which prove success of Riba-free banking, he added. Over nine hundred Islamic banking branches in Pakistan speak of the confidence of the masses in the Islamic banking and the successful handling of regulator, he added. 

He said that the share of Islamic banks in the assets of all the banks can exceed ten per cent in the current fiscal if introduction of new products is focused. Tariq Mehmood asked the Islamic banks to exploit the full potential of interest-free banking, expand network, offer new products to reach to under-served sectors and un-banked population. 

Tariq Mehmood, who is also Director Pak-UK Business Council and Chairman FPCCI Committee on Health, said that Islamic banks should maintain the image of better risk managers which is necessary for depositor's confidence. 

The deposit base of Islamic banking has been expanding faster than general banking due to speedy and better returns which is a very healthy development, he maintained. Tariq asked Islamic banks to keep an eye on global strategies, remain Shariah compliant and find ways to improve rates of return to match inflation which will boost confidence of masses in Islamic banking. Islamic banks have remained unharmed during the global financial collapse which has also saved investments of masses, the business leader observed. 

(Business Recorder / 03 August 2012)

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