DOHA: Global Islamic banking assets with commercial banks are on course to exceed $3.4 trillion by 2018, fuelled by growing economic activity in core Islamic finance markets according to specialists at Ernst & Young’s (EY) Global Islamic Banking Centre.
In a statement yesterday, the centre has also announced the launch of its Mandarin and Turkish editions of its Islamic banking research.
Across the six markets of Qatar, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, UAE and Turkey (QISMUT), the combined profits of Islamic banks broke the $10bn mark for the first time at the end of 2013. If the current growth rate continues, the Islamic banking profit pool across QISMUT markets is set to exceed $25bn by 2018.
Ashar Nazim, Global Islamic Finance Leader at EY, said: “While the profit numbers for Islamic banks are impressive, they are still, on average, 15-19 percentage points lower than traditional banks in these markets. Regionalisation and operational transformation, which are currently underway in several leading Islamic banks, will help to close this gap.”
Highlighting the untapped potential of the Shariah compliant finance and banking industry, he said that there is significant growth potential. There are an estimated 38 million customers who bank with Islamic retail banks globally, but only a small number of these customers have fully transitioned from a traditional to an Islamic banking relationship. The average number of Islamic banking products per customer is just over two, whereas leading traditional banks have an average of five products per customer.
“Building consumer confidence through service excellence, especially when it comes to customers opening accounts and cross-selling can increase the market share of Islamic banks by 40 percent from these customers,” said Ashar.
Another major opportunity is for Islamic banks to assist the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector with their cross-border business growth.
“With increasing trade and capital flows between Turkey, Middle East and Asia Pacific, there is growing appetite to learn about Islamic financial solutions from clients and investors in these markets. Similarly, linking with world growth engines like China and India is becoming more important to help build business bridges between these markets,” adds Gordon Bennie, EY’s Mena Head of Financial Services.