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Monday, 5 October 2015

EIB starts Islamic Banking index

Dubai: Emirates Islamic Bank said on Monday it has launched an Islamic Banking index, aimed at understanding the benchmark shift in the market penetration, as well as the perception, knowledge and intent of UAE consumers towards Islamic Banking.
“By analysing four key indicators [penetration, perception, knowledge, and intention], we have created for the first time a benchmark that brings together perception and reality on the status of the Islamic Banking industry in the UAE,” said chief executive officer Jamal Bin Ghalaita.
“In doing so, the index reveals more than just the attitudes and opinions of people in the UAE towards Islamic Banking — it also creates a pathway to the solutions that will enable us to drive the continued growth of Islamic Banking in the UAE,” Bin Ghalaita added.
The survey was done with a sample size of about 900 clients from the different emirates, and the main criteria was that the principal has a banking product.
“This index would help the economy in bringing more transparency and also in getting views of Muslims or non-Muslims and if they have used the products. The idea is how are we able to improve the communication with our clients in making them understand the products and services that we offer,” Bin Ghalaita said.
Banking for all
“Islamic banking is open for all, our doors are open for all. The idea is very transparent banking. If we overcharge, either it goes to charity or or it goes back to the client. So these values of banking, we need to communicate in a better manner to attract more customers,” Bin Ghalaita said.
About 50 per cent of the respondents have had heard or used an Islamic Banking product, indicating the depth of awareness.
“While many people have heard about the structures, not many people are aware about the specifics of how the structure works,” said Wael Ebrahim, chief operating officer at Emirates Islamic Bank.
Almost half of the UAE banked respondents have at least one Islamic product. While Muslim consumers have a fairly even number of conventional and Islamic products.
The survey also found out that the respondents perceive that Islamic banks support the community more and have lower transaction fees as compared to conventional banking. Overall, Islamic banks are more trusted particularly by users of Islamic banking products, the survey revealed.
About a quarter of the respondents expressed their intention to acquire an Islamic and conventional banking product in the coming six months, three-fourths said they they were open to Islamic Banking products, 21 per cent said they only look for Islamic Banking products, while 54 per cent said they kept both options open.
(Gulf News Economy  05 October 2015)
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