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October 01, 2022

Central bank pushes Islamic banking

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is ramping up efforts to establish an inclusive and sustainable Islamic finance ecosystem by pursuing regulatory reforms under a whole-of-government approach.

“We aim to provide a supportive and enabling environment for Islamic banking that can operate alongside the conventional banking system,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said.

The BSP’s prudential regulatory reforms on Islamic banking cover licensing, Shari’ah governance, liquidity risk management as well as reporting guidelines, which were recently issued under BSP Circular No. 1139.

The central bank said that policy studies in the pipeline include research on profit sharing investment accounts, minimum capital requirements of Islamic banking units (IBUs), and the capital adequacy ratio of Islamic banks and IBUs.

Complementing these regulations are the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s guidelines on tax neutrality, which provide that Islamic banking transactions should be taxed neither more nor less than conventional banking transactions; and the Insurance Commission’s baseline framework on “takaful’ or Islamic insurance.

Moreover, the BSP is working with the Bangsamoro Government, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, and the Department of Finance on establishing a Shari’ah Supervisory Board (SSB) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, pursuant to the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

The SSB will provide Shari’ah compliance oversight for the Islamic banking and finance industry in the region.

Another upcoming activity is the conduct of workshops on Islamic banking and finance with international organizations on Islamic Finance, namely the Islamic Financial Services Board and the Islamic Finance Advisory Assurance Services.

“The continuous conduct of capacity building programs for stakeholders remains a priority of the government, considering the benefits and untapped potential of Islamic banking and finance in promoting greater financial inclusion,” Diokno said.

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