Mon, 22 October 2018
Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB) announced the launch of the Global Islamic & Sustainable FinTech Center (GISFC) with local, regional and international members. GISFC aims to accelerate the use of FinTech to drive the next phase of growth in Islamic finance, whilst also focusing on sustainable, social and responsible innovation. The launch of the GISFC reaffirms Bahrain’s distinguished position as the global leader in Islamic finance and banking.
Globally, major centers of Islamic finance have been undergoing regulatory reforms and introducing initiatives such as regulatory sandboxes to encourage further innovation in their ecosystem. Such innovations are aimed at allowing the industry to capture new customers and achieve long term growth. Additionally, sustainability has become a central and strategic focus for financial institutions worldwide.
Dr. Ali Adnan Ibrahim, who has been appointed Chairman of GISFC, brings a wealth of experience in sustainability and Islamic finance. He is Head of Sustainability & Social Responsibility at the Al Baraka Banking Group in Bahrain and is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and leads the Social Credits Initiative, which seeks to combine finance and technology to incentivise private investments for sustainable development. He is also Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee of the Bahrain Association of Banks, and an internationally published author.
On this occasion, Khalid Saad, CEO of Bahrain FinTech Bay noted that Islamic finance had the potential to onboard over a billion new customers through the use of technology, helping attain sustainable and long-term growth. He added, “GISFC aims to bring together key stakeholders in the industry to help shed light on how FinTech can help attain such growth in a sustainable and responsible manner. As a leading regional FinTech and global Islamic finance hub, Bahrain is at the forefront of driving Islamic and sustainable Fintech. We are delighted to have someone of Dr. Ali’s caliber to head such an important initiative”.
Dr. Ali, Chairman of GISFC expressed that he felt honored by the trust laid in him. He remarked that Islamic finance and sustainability shared a huge common ground. He added, “Islamic and sustainability FinTech solutions can help solve several social and economic challenges, and, while doing so, such solutions will create massive economic value including investment opportunities for individuals and businesses. Bahrain’s Fintech and Islamic finance regulatory ecosystem can help Islamic and sustainability Fintech startups from the region and beyond, building on Bahrain’s position as a global center for Islamic and sustainable FinTech.”
GISFC’s launch partners include the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), South-East Asia’s Islamic Fintech Alliance, Ethis Ventures - an Islamic crowdfunding platform across Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, Al Baraka Banking Group – the world’s largest Islamic banking network, Al Salam Bank, Arab Financial Services, Arcapita, Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Finastra, Finocracy, GFH, IdealRatings – a FinTech focused on Islamic finance and sustainability headquartered in the United States, Ithmaar Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Roland Berger and Waqfe.