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Business Home > Banking & Finance
 
Islamic retail banking future trends in focus

Abdul Basit / 10 October 2012

Financial experts discussed current trend and put spotlight on the future of Islamic retail banking in Gulf countries and across the globe in Dubai on Tuesday.

They met at the 4th Annual World Islamic Retail Banking Conference, which was supported by Bahrain Association of Banks, International Compliance Association and the Islamic Finance Council UK.

The conference and exhibition was opened with an opening speech by Syed Haider Mehdi, the president and chief executive officer of Dubai-based Management Excellence. More than 200 delegates gathered to learn the latest technologies and issues surrounding the Islamic retail banking sector, according to the organiser — Fleming Gulf.

Welma Williams, deputy production director at Fleming Gulf, said: “Islamic retail banking is one of the fastest growing banking sectors in the MENA region rivaling traditional banks. It is a progressive and robust industry in itself, for this reason, competition is mounting, with more banks eager to get a share of the growing market.”

The conference kicked off with a panel discussion outlining regulatory changes and the impact they have on retail banking. The panel was joined by Harun Kapetanovic, Economic Advisor at Dubai Department of Economic Development (Government of Dubai); Dr. Rifki Ismal, Assistant Director of Department of Islamic Banking at Bank Indonesia; and Prasanna Seshachellam, Director of Supervision at Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Eight panelists joined in an exclusive CEO round table to discuss strategies unique to Islamic retail banking. The highly anticipated session threw some light on issues including setting up a geographical footprint globally, creating international Islamic retail bankers, challenges in working with different Shariah structures and its interpretations across geographies.

The panelist was made up of representatives from Noor Islamic Bank, Mashreq Al Islami, Meezan Bank Ltd, First National Bank & WesBank Islamic Finance, University Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Saadiq and CIMB Group.

A dedicated session focused on how competition in Islamic banking propels new opportunities for SMEs featured a presentation by Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Head of Group Islamic Banking Division at CIMB Group (Malaysia). During the presentation, Abdul Ghani provided an introduction to Islamic finance in Malaysia and emphasised on the contribution made by the SMEs to Malaysia’s economy.

During the second half of the day, sessions focused on customer centricity and cross selling provided insights on how banks can maintain competitive advantage through developing targeted offerings based on customer value, how technology can help banks to sell more products and increased engagement through social media. Customer centricity was presented by Yusuf Jehangir, Group Head Marketing at Al Rajhi Bank, while cross selling at every opportunity was presented by Ghiath Halabi, Engagement Director at VeriPark.

abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

 

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