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24th World Islamic Banking Conference to advance digital finance

22 Nov 2017, 05:10 pm
Financial Nigeria
24th World Islamic Banking Conference to advance digital finance

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Islamic finance industry is going through drastic changes as a consequence of evolving customer behavior, channel proliferation and the digitization of operations in general.

A cross-section of participants at WIBC 2016

Middle East Global Advisors, a leading financial intelligence platform facilitating the development of knowledge-based economies in the MENASEA (Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia) markets, will convene the 24th edition of their flagship offering – The World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) on December 4 – 6. The WIBC promises to be the largest and most prestigious gathering of Islamic banking and finance leaders in the world, and will hold in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Based on a strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain, the three-day forum will take place at the ART Rotana Hotel in Amwaj Islands.

The theme for WIBC 2017 – Drivers of Economic Growth & Risks: Policymakers & Regulators – is in line with the conference’s steady vision to serve as a compass for the global Islamic finance and banking industry, and is expected to draw participation of over 1,300 global industry leaders, policy makers, innovators and stakeholders, all focused on generating breakthrough insights that will help in navigating the complexities of the global financial system.

The conference will deliberate on the growing need for Islamic banks to re-engineer in order to address evolving customer needs in the digital era. Touted as a catalyst for unprecedented change, digitization has resulted in constant disruption to existing business models, processes and services for Islamic Banks. According to the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2016 by EY, Islamic banks still have a lower customer penetration in mobile banking compared to conventional banks and the digitization efforts need to catch up.

Speaking on behalf of WIBC’s Islamic Banking Technology Partner, Mohammed Kateeb, Group Chairman & CEO, Path Solutions, said, “The Islamic finance industry is going through drastic changes as a consequence of evolving customer behavior, channel proliferation and the digitization of operations in general. However, it’s important to recognize the common challenges and opportunities facing the industry at large.”

He said the Islamic finance industry has a lot of catching up to do in terms of placing an emphasis on customer and market evolutions and process change requirements, adding that he looks forward to contributing to the critical discussion on digital banking at the 24th World Islamic Banking Conference next month.

In light of the technological disruption of Islamic Banks, the 24th WIBC will pioneer a panel session focused on harnessing digital technologies to stay relevant and address the evolving customer preferences. The session will feature key insights from Mohammed Kateeb, Group Chairman & CEO, Path Solutions; Ahmed Albalooshi, Group CIO, Al Baraka Banking Group; Esam Alkheshnam, CEO, International Turnkey Systems (ITS); Fadi Hani, VP MEA & Turkey, Avaya & Andrew Sims, Chief Executive Officer, NEC Payments, as they probe attendees to rethink their approach towards digital banking and dole out pointers on addressing the evolving customer preferences by means of rewiring existing business models.

Key features for WIBC 2017 include: Governors’ Addresses; High-profile Regulatory Debate among Central Bankers; a conversation with a distinguished Islamic finance veteran - Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Chief Executive and President, Al Baraka Banking Group on the future course of the Islamic economy; and an exclusive WIBC Knowledge-Sharing Series touching upon a number of topical issues like Leveraging Islamic Capital Markets for innovative solutions that will focus on Aviation Financing, Alternative/Renewable Energy Financing. There will also be panel discussions focusing on dynamic capital markets, sustainable, equitable & inclusive growth, new horizons for Islamic finance, ESG Investing and the influence of energy prices, VAT, the effect of the recent global economic & political developments and much more.

Industry leaders will also be recognized for their excellence through the WIBC Performance Awards 2017, the winners of which will be honored at the Gala Dinner on December 05.

Confirmed partners at WIBC 2017 so far include: Kuwait Finance House, Khaleeji Commercial Bank, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Al Salam Bank -Bahrain, Ibdar Bank, Bank ABC Islamic, Bank of Khartoum International, Boubyan Bank, Avaya, Wahed Invest, Alvarez & Marsal, Al Baraka Banking Group, Ithmaar Bank, Thomson Reuters, Path Solutions, Labuan IBFC, Shariyah Review Bureau, Luxembourg for Finance, Oracle Financial Services, Baker McKenzie, DARKTRACE, The Benefit Company B.S.C, Infosys Finacle, Sadad, NEC Payments, Eiger Trading Advisors Ltd, G4S, Department for International Trade – British Embassy Bahrain, CBX Unit LLC, Deloitte, DDCAP, Fitch Ratings, Crestbridge Bahrain, The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance, and International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM).

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