Islamic finance lobby plans regional network
The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), a Bahrain-based non-profit organisation, plans to expand beyond the Gulf, so that it can shape rules and practices in new markets as they grow. Addressing a major weakness in Islamic finance, the lack of well-trained professionals, CIBAFI plans to expand its training and certification programmes. The body also plans to hold forums in new markets for Islamic finance, including events in Morocco and Libya later this year. One of CIBAFI's key messages is that Islamic windows need to operate under clear rules to improve the perceptions of consumers. Therefore, Omar Hafiz, secretary-general of the body, said that for its long-term health, the industry should focus as much on improving the regulatory environment as increasing its size.