DUBAI: Unlike conventional banking system, the Islamic banking industry is a fast growing sector and it has proved its reliability especially during the financial turmoil, where it sustained all possible odds, a senior banker disclosed on Monday.
The Managing Director, Head Islamic Finance for Bank Sarasin, Fares Mourad said that today Islamic Finance is considered a preferred banking choice globally, as it offers an array of opportunities.
Mourad, who was speaking to The Gulf Today, after delivering Bank Sarasin’s second annual Islamic Wealth Management Report in Dubai, also disclosed that unlike conventional banking, the financial crisis did not affect the Islamic banking industry in particular, adding that this has brought in more confidence to the bankers to use Islamic banking products.
He said that Islamic finance has become one of the big success stories in the finance world today. It is therefore worth looking at the current credit crunch in conventional finance to see how easily one problem can spiral out of control.
Bank Sarasin is part of the Sarasin Group and has its roots as a leading Swiss private bank. In its second annual Islamic Wealth Management Report, Bank Sarasin urged the Islamic banking community to take a stronger focus on Islamic Financial Planning.
Bank Sarasin also calls for the industry to move forward by developing the Sharia framework, diversifying products and differentiating its offerings.
Islamic Financial Planning, involves the acquisition, preservation and philanthropic distribution of wealth. It is a religious duty that Muslims must have a will, so proper Estate Planning is required, often including a trust structure.
The MD noted that the crisis period was a good example where the Islamic Finance industry’s strength was witnessed and it has without any doubt, showed that the industry has actually delivered efficiently and has gone beyond expectations.
Although the Middle East still represents the biggest share of the total Islamic banking sector, Western countries have now diverted their attention from conventional banking and are gearing towards this new trend that presents a unique opportunity to diversify. He said that Islamic banking is not a new sector, it has been in existence for the last five decades, since the 1960s and in the modern world it is fast gaining popularity.
Bank Sarasin’s Islamic Wealth Report 2011 provides investors with an in-depth overview of developments in the Islamic Wealth arena in 2010 and explains how best to manage assets according to religious requirements.
This approach exemplifies Bank Sarasin’s aim to minimise risk and maximise opportunities for its clients, a key objective in today’s volatile markets.
This year’s Report opens by explaining the required approach to Islamic Financial Planning before focusing on the key areas of philanthropy, the family office service, mutual funds and Sukuk, before concluding with an insight into Bank Sarasin’s current economic outlook for 2011.
The Report also notes that the Islamic requirement to distribute part of acquired wealth is driving philanthropic giving in the GCC region (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman). Annual philanthropic giving in the GCC is already estimated at as much as $50 billion.
In November 2009, the Sarasin Group introduced a comprehensive Islamic wealth management service offering the full spectrum of Sharia-compliant private banking products and services: estate and succession planning, financing and asset management, including money market and structured products such as Wakala, Murabaha and Maraya.
Bank Sarasin is a leading Swiss private bank whose many years of banking experience has made it consciously opt for sustainability as a key component of its corporate philosophy. It provides a high level of service and expertise when acting as investment advisor and asset manager for private and institutional clients.
Bank Sarasin offers individual asset management for high-net-worth private clients. In personal consultation with the client, they devise personalised solutions that are compatible with your ambitions and objectives.
“As an international financial service provider committed to sustainability, the Sarasin Group is now represented in more than 20 locations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia,” disclosed Mourad.
He went on to mention that the Sarasin Group has created a tailored service that enables its Islamic clients to have the forward-planning tools, processes and products necessary to ensure that they are meeting their obligations under Islamic law.