What Is the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB)?
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is an international standard-setting body that promotes Islamic banking’s soundness and stability by issuing global prudential standards and guiding principles in areas such as capital adequacy, corporate governance, risk management, and transparency, among others.
The Concept of IFSB
The Islamic Financial Services Board came into existence in early 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was founded by a group of central banks and the Islamic Development Bank. The main mission of the organization is to promote the stability and resilience of the Islamic financial services industry. To this end, it publishes Sharia-compliance standards, hosts conferences and seminars, and provides guidance and oversight. Furthermore, the organization consists of:
- The General Assembly, which consists of all members of the ISFB
- The Council, the IFSB’s policy-making body which includes the senior executives of each full member of the organization
- The Executive Committee, which provides operational and administrative advice to the council
- The Technical Committee, which provides advice to the council on technical issues
- The Working Group, which drafts standards and guidelines
- The Task Force, which in charge of ad-hoc activities
- The Arabic Editing Committee, which converts ISFB documents into English from Arabic
- The Secretariat, which serves as the council’s main administrative body and is led by a Secretary-General nominated by the Council.
Membership of Islamic Financial Services Board
The IFSB had 188 members as of December 2020, including 80 regulatory and supervisory bodies, and 10 international intergovernmental organizations. Furthermore, it includes 98 market participants, which included financial institutions, professional firms, industry groups, and stock exchanges.
Additionally, an entity can apply for one of three categories of memberships: full membership, associate membership, or observer membership.
IFSB plays an important role in promoting Islamic finance. The organization develops the new standards by adapting the existing international standards consistent with Shariah principles. The urgency of the IFSB establishment was because the Basel Committee standards on banking supervision cannot be applied ‘as is’ on Islamic banks. Furthermore, The IFSB’s work complements the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors in this regard.
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