Islamic banking can boost financial inclusion

KARACHI: Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Seema Kamil on Thursday said the Islamic banking industry held significant potential to improve access to financial services in the country.

“The SBP fully supports the Islamic banking industry and the industry can play a vital role in enhancing the outreach of Shariah-compliant financial services,” the deputy governor of the central bank said addressing the inaugural session of the Islamic Finance Expo & Conference.

The event was organised by Professional Network in collaboration with Institute of Business

Administration the Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance as the knowledge partner for the event, according to a statement. “The SBP is making all-out efforts towards achieving the targets set under National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Islamic banking,

which envisages attaining a share of 25 percent in total assets and deposits of the banking industry and 30 percent share in total branch network of the industry by the end of 2023.”

Kamil said the share of Islamic banking in housing finance had already surpassed conventional banking and “people of Pakistan prefer to have interest free housing finance as they associate that Riba takes away Barakah from their house if it is financed under interest based mode”.

President Meezan Bank Irfan Siddiqui, in his key address to the conference, said keeping in view the high public demand and growth of Islamic finance the mid-term vision for Islamic banking was to achieve 50 percent market share in the country.

“We need to deliver higher service quality to our customers while ensuring Shariah compliance and use of technology,” Siddiqui added.


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