Islamic banking not profit driven but ethics, morals-entrenched – Expert

03 May 2010


KUALA LUMPUR — “The Islamic banking and finance model is not one based on profitability alone but one in which ethics and morals play a key and defining part, Executive Chairman of Asian Finance Bank Mohamed Azhari Kamil berkata told KUNA on Monday.

“The Islamic value system as a whole is at the heart of all our products and services,” he said, “and this goes hand in hand with and aids efforts to establish trust and belief in the Islamic banking model.” The expert noted that “the basic principles of good relations with clients and entrenching the overall spirituality of the Islamic way of life was somewhat neglected in the Islamic banking field in favor of technical and structural aspects of the workings of the system.

“We should be more interested to see individuals succeed that to see a financial institution make profits,” he said.

“Putting both components at work (technical and ethics-related aspects) would provide the international community with the feasible alternative for the traditional banking system it is seeking as the pressure of the global financial crisis persists.” “We can not deny the importance of the traditional system, with its great expertise and proven efficiency in many areas … But the Islamic system has the added advantage of a solid ethical basis,” the expert remarked. “As a budding market, the Islamic system still needs to focus on entrenching its code of ethics and mode of action before leaning more heavily towards actual innovation in products and services,” he also stressed.

The expert also addressed the issue of manpower and expertise. He said it is vital to train and create manpower which includes scientists, researchers, academicians, as well as traders and bankers to bolster the Islamic banking system globally and to promote it.

While the system has the ability to create and offer new products and services, it could not continue to do so without creating this base of people to work the field, he pointed out. “Without planning and maintaining quality of survive, through capable planning, the system would not survive on the long-run,” Kamil said.

Asian Finance Bank is based in Kuala Lumpur and has a wide network covering the Gulf and Middle East regions. It has considerable expertise in training staff and launching actual projects in partnership between the Middle East and the Southeast Asia region. The bank is currently eying expansion in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brunei.

By Abdullah Bouges

© KUNA (Kuwait News Agency) 2010

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