By A Staff Reporter -
MUSCAT — The College of Banking and Financial Studies (CBFS) has launched four in-house training offerings in Islamic Finance for the banking and financial sector leading to globally recognised certifications — the Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI), the Diploma in Islamic Finance of Certified Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), UK, Certified Islamic Public Accountant (CIPA) and Chartered Sharia Auditor and Adviser (CSAA) of the Accounting and Audit Organisation of Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Bahrain.
The launch function for the training offerings was held at the college premises recently under the auspices of Hamood Sangour al Zadjali (pictured), Executive President, Central Bank of Oman.
In his keynote address, Al Zadjali observed that with global assets of $1 trillion and a projected annual growth of 20 per cent, the Islamic finance industry is poised for a leap in the coming years. Several countries have already scripted success stories in this sector. Following the Royal Directive in May 2011, authorising the establishment of Islamic banking, Oman’s financial landscape is anticipated to change in the coming years with far reaching effects. The Central Bank of Oman is in the forefront of laying a strong macro foundation for Islamic banking in Oman through a comprehensive set of guidelines encompassing, inter alia, exclusive branches for window operation, clear cut segregation of conventional and Islamic banking operations, minimum capital requirements, lending limits, procedures for reporting structure and formation of Sharia Board.
Emphasising that people are the heart of any business strategy, Al Zadjali observed that banks need to develop the right capacity and quality of human capital for this new line of business in alignment with global standards.
He expressed happiness that the college has developed various training offerings in Islamic finance and expressed the hope that the banks and finance companies would make full use of these opportunities to strengthen their knowledge base in this sector.
Dr Ashraf Nabhan al Nabhani, Dean, CBFS, who welcomed the gathering, informed that the training courses will be offered in collaboration with BIBF, Bahrain. He stated that this initiative represented the latest of a series of measures taken by the college towards its vision of achieving world class “Centre of Excellence” status by 2020 through the provision of specialised and innovative education and training. He also highlighted the commitment of the college to meet the ever changing expectations of its stakeholders.
The launch function was followed by a seminar on Islamic banking encompassing two technical sessions. The first technical session titled “Next Wave in Islamic Banking” by Dr M Farooq, Head-Islamic Finance Centre, BIBF highlighted the shift in Islamic finance under various heads — from legalism to value orientation, form to substance, micro jurism to holism, financialisation to real economy orientation, risk avoiding to risk sharing, development neutral to development relevance, poverty neutral to poverty sensitive, debt orientation to equity orientation, non standardisation to standardisation and parochialism to universalism — powered by two catalysts — ethicality and practicality.
The second technical session titled “Human Capital Development in Islamic Banking” by Al Fatih Gessan P Aryasantana, Senior Faculty, BIBF dwelt on the present status of Islamic finance and also its future prospects through pull, push and weight factors.
The challenges of human capital development in the industry related to training and development were outlined and key pointers of action for its sustainability and effectiveness were enumerated.
The technical sessions were followed by an open session in which the speakers clarified various posers from the delegates comprising of senior officials from the banking and financial sector of Oman.