Islamic banking grows by 30pc

KARACHI: Islamic banking industry maintained strong growth momentum with over 30 per cent average annual growth during the last six to seven years, said Mohammad Kamran Shezad, Deputy Governor, State Bank.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a five-day training programme on Islamic banking on Friday, Kamran Shezad said that Islamic banking industry at present constitutes about 7.3 per cent of the overall banking in Pakistan.

He said there are five full-fledged Islamic banks and 12 conventional banks having Islamic banking branches with a network over 840 branches in more than 70 districts across the country.

The resilience of Islamic financial institutions during the recent international financial crisis has testified the ability of Islamic economic and financial system to lend the much needed stability to the financial market, which has been experiencing crisis with increasing frequency, he said.

“Encouragingly, post crisis, there has been a significant increase recognition of Islamic finance as a more prudent, stable and better alternate to the conventional system, which gives us the optimism about growth and development of Islamic finance industry at an even higher pace,” he added.

He said the growth trend in Islamic banking industry is likely to gather further momentum with increasing awareness level and expansion of Islamic banking network in second and third tier cities of the country.

“The State Bank has been at the forefront of almost all the initiatives that have been taken to help develop and promote the industry,” he added.

“To address the awareness and misconception issues, we have launched an awareness campaign whereby targeted seminars and conferences are being organised for the business community, academia, bankers and policy makers throughout the country.

Furthermore, a media campaign is being launched for mass awareness using electronic and print media, he added, according to a statement.