KARACHI: Islamic Finance News (IFN), an arm of REDmoney Group, Malaysia, has declared the State Bank of Pakistan as the best central bank of 2021 across the world in promoting Islamic fina­nce, said a press release issued on Thursday.

The IFN Best Banks Poll is regarded as one of the prestigious accolades in the global Islamic finance space, said the SBP press release, adding that the Bank Negara Malaysia stood second while the Saudi Central Bank secured the third position.

The category of the best central bank in promoting Islamic finance is one of the closely fought contests among regulators competing for supremacy through exceptional advances made during the year.

The SBP is honoured to have won this award for the 5th time during the last seven years in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2020.The award reflects international recognition of the strategic measures undertaken by SBP to put in place a robust policy environment for Islamic banking to prosper.

The SBP’s strategic plan 2021-25 envisages taking Islamic banking share of 30 per cent in terms of assets and 35pc in terms of deposits in the overall banking system.

The assets and deposits of the Islamic banking industry grew year-on-year by 28.2pc and 26pc, respectively, by September 30, 2021. Market share of Islamic banking assets and deposits stood at 17pc and 18.6pc, respectively, of the overall banking system.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2022

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