Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Reza Baqir has been appointed as the Chairman of the General Assembly of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) for the year 2022. His appointment was approved by the IFSB General Assembly in its 19th meeting held on 9th June 2021.

On his appointment as Chairman for the 20th General Assembly, Governor SBP expressed his gratitude to IFSB Council and General Assembly members for their expression of confidence in him to steer this august forum and showed resolve that IFSB will continue to serve as one of the leading standard setting bodies in Islamic finance at global level. Adding further he said that standards developed by IFSB will help to augment the regulatory and prudential frameworks for Islamic finance globally.  Dr. Reza Baqir is currently serving as the Deputy Chairman of the Council of IFSB, which is also a senior executive and policy making body comprising heads of the regulatory and supervisory authorities on Islamic finance.

The IFSB General Assembly is the apex representative body of its three categories of members namely ‘full members’, ‘associate members’ and ‘observer members’. As of June 2021, there are 187 members of the IFSB, which comprises 81 regulatory and supervisory authorities, 10 international inter-governmental organizations, and 96 market players, which include financial institutions, professional firms, industry associations and stock exchanges operating in 57 jurisdictions.

The IFSB, established in 2003 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is an international standard-setting organization that promotes and enhances the soundness and stability of global Islamic financial services industry by issuing prudential standards and guiding principles for the industry. To strengthen the regulatory and supervisory infrastructure for Islamic banking industry, the State Bank of Pakistan has over the years adopted various IFSB prudential standards and guidelines after necessary customization in light of the prevailing local legal and regulatory environment.

In Pakistan, currently there are 5 full-fledged Islamic banks and 17 conventional banks operating with standalone Islamic banking branches offering a wide array of Shariah compliant financial solutions. As of March 31, 2020, the market share of the Islamic banking industry assets and deposits in the overall banking sector stood at 17% and 18.7% respectively and the branch network of Islamic banking institutions comprises over 3,456 branches and 1,638 windows. State Bank of Pakistan is fully committed in promoting Islamic banking as envisioned in its 3rd five year strategic plan 2020-25 by setting a target of 30% market share of Islamic banking in overall banking industry. Further, special emphasis on increasing financing to agriculture and SME sectors has also been made part of the strategic plan. SBP has also received several global accolades in promoting Islamic banking in the country.