Conveners of WIBC and Central Bank of Bahrain reaffirm role of 22-year-old platform as undisputed compass for Islamic financial services industry
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain: 30 September 2015: The conveners of the much-coveted World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) announced today the various features that promise to make WIBC 2015 the best edition in its 22-year history. Middle East Global Advisors, an intelligence platform serving markets in the Middle East North Africa Southeast Asia (MENASEA) region, joined hands with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in a press conference to take stock of the 40-year old industry and WIBC’s pivotal role in shaping developments throughout this period.
The host of the press conference, Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad, Executive Director of Banking Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain, spoke to the audience on the historic nature of WIBC 2015: “We are delighted to announce that this event will be under the patronage of HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. WIBC 2015 is set at an opportune time for us to assess what the modern Islamic commercial banking industry has achieved in its 40 years of existence and set the path for the industry going forward. Through its global presence and footprint and rapid growth of assets under management, Islamic finance has achieved a lot in its short existence. Yet, many issues remain outstanding including the shortage of available liquid assets, the gap between the underlying principles of Islamic finance and its current practice, its outreach to unbanked communities and its ability to universally appeal to a wider range of customers.”
Present from Middle East Global Advisors was its Vice-Chairman and CEO Dr. Sayd Farook who formally announced the launch of the WIBC Leaderboard, one of the innovative new features of the 22-year platform: “The WIBC Leaderboard is a groundbreaking performance assessment aimed at helping the Islamic finance industry to critically appraise the challenges and growth opportunities that lie ahead. It will provide high visibility rankings of Islamic banks and financial institutions at the global, regional and national levels, in terms of various robust financial and governance metrics.”
Dr. Farook emphasized importance of promoting transparency across and critical dialogue within the Islamic finance industry, emphasizing that WIBC, with the pivotal support of the Central Bank of Bahrain, remains the undisputed platform shaping industry dialogue.
Mr. Hamad chimed in on the Leaderboard’s importance as an important benchmark for the global Islamic finance industry. He started his remarks by reiterating the importance of understanding and assessing where the industry’s veterans and leaders believe the Islamic finance industry needs to head and what needs to happen to get the industry there. “I am also looking forward to hearing the results of the WIBC Leaderboard and Performance Awards, which will give the institutions in the industry a much needed objective measure of their performance across a diverse set of benchmarks including those the industry should ideally be measured against,” he concluded.
The WIBC 2015 programme has been refreshed to really galvanize the industry at this critical juncture. Dr. Farook shared that the conference will run along two parallel tracks serving the banking and asset management sectors. Further, he said, WIBC will serve as a platform for no less than 8 unique intelligence reports, panel sessions focused on financial services innovations such as Mpesa, Bitcoin and Crowdfunding, and a session on woman leaders in Islamic finance – among other features.
The high profile nature of WIBC speakers has been one of its core strengths. WIBC 2015 will be inaugurated by H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. He will be followed by His Excellency Hamood Sangour Al-Zadjali, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman. Other distinguished speakers include Professor Datuk Rifaat Karim (CEO of International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation), Noor Abid (Board Member at Kuwait Finance House), Tirad Al-Mahmoud (CEO of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank) and Osman Çelik (Board Member & CEO of Türkiye Finans).
WIBC will take place on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December at the Gulf Hotel in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.
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