The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Council in its 37th meeting, held on 10th December 2020, appointed Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Reza Baqir, as the Deputy Chairman of the Council for the year 2021. IFSB Council is the highest level policy making body comprising of the Central Bank Governors and heads of the leading regulatory and supervisory authorities. The announcement was made in the Council meeting chaired by Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, the Governor Bank Negara Malaysia, and was attended by the Central Bank Governors and heads of Regulatory and Supervisory Authorities of more than 20 countries. During the meeting, Governor Dr. Reza also participated in a tour de table discussion on economic and financial stability under COVID-19 pandemic. He shared with the Council members the measures taken by State Bank in combating COVID-19 challenges by providing required liquidity support to banks through various regulatory interventions and concessionary refinance schemes to businesses through banks to avoid layoffs, direct support for hospitals and for new investments.
The IFSB, established in 2003 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is the international standard-setting organization that promotes the soundness and stability of global Islamic financial services by issuing prudential standards and guiding principles for the industry. Since its inception, IFSB has issued 22 Standards, 7 Guidance Notes and 3 Technical Notes for Islamic financial services industry covering areas such as risk management, capital adequacy, transparency and disclosure, Shariah governance, corporate governance etc.
To strengthen regulatory and supervisory infrastructure for Islamic banking industry in Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan has adopted various IFSB prudential standards and guidelines after necessary customization in the light of prevailing local legal and regulatory environment. State Bank of Pakistan being the founding member of IFSB has played an active role in achieving the objectives of the IFSB through representation in its various forums. State Bank of Pakistan has been promoting Islamic banking through multi-pronged strategy as a consequence of which Islamic banking assets and deposits have a market share of more than 16% in the overall banking industry now. Islamic Banking Institutions have presence in more than 120 districts of Pakistan through a network of more than 3,300 branches. Acknowledging its key role in promotion of Islamic banking, various international organizations have awarded State Bank of Pakistan as the best Central Bank for a number of times.