Malcolm Knight, General Manager of the Bank of International Settlements, gave a speech last Thursday to the 2nd Islamic Financial Services Board Forum, outlining how the IFSB, the BIS and the BCBS are working together on developing the institutional framework for the globalisation of Islamic Finance. He emphasises the areas the conventional and Islamic finance have in common – the needs for sound risk management, corporate governance and capital adequacy.

All I can do is encourage those interested in the area to read it.


Although there are differences between Islamic banking and “conventional” banking, there are some fundamental principles that apply equally to both. In particular, rigorous risk management and sound corporate governance help to ensure the safety and soundness of the international banking system. In the light of the growing importance of Islamic banks and Sharia-compliant financial innovation, the increasing integration of Islamic financial services into global financial markets serves to strengthen this point.

The Basel II framework improves the risk sensitivity and accuracy of the criteria for assessing banks’ capital adequacy. This framework is fundamentally about stronger and more effective risk management grounded in sound corporate governance and enhanced financial disclosure, the importance of which has been underscored by the recent problems that have arisen in the banking industry worldwide. The guidance provided by the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is a useful contribution to the realisation of these global goals. It will support the establishment of resilient financial market infrastructures and sound and robust core Islamic financial institutions operating according to safe and sound risk management practices.