May 29, 2018 / 4:37 AM / 6 months ago

With IMF nod, industry body IFSB to tighten Islamic finance guidance

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo at its headquarters in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

(Reuters) - The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) will expand its guidance for national regulators after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) adopted its standard for Islamic banking, hastening efforts to harmonize business practices.

Islamic finance is now of significant size to be considered systemically important in over a dozen countries, prompting closer scrutiny from policy makers on its potential impact on financial systems.

The IMF said last week it would incorporate a banking standard from the Malaysia-based IFSB into its financial sector surveillance of select countries starting from next year.

IFSB Secretary-General Bello Lawal Danbatta welcomed the move and said work would proceed on developing standards for regulation of Islamic capital market products and deposit insurance within this year.

“We are taking steps to further strengthen our implementation program by adding the dimension of consistency and impact assessment of the implemented standards,” he said.

Guidance on the regulation of Islamic insurers would be developed later, Danbatta added.

The IFSB has published drafts on proposed standards on the supervision of Islamic insurers and the regulation of Islamic capital marker products such as Islamic bonds, or sukuk.

It is also revising a standard on disclosure for Islamic banks to help promote transparency and marker discipline, which was first issued in 2007.

(This story has been refiled to correct spelling in last two paragraphs)

Reporting by Bernardo Vizcaino; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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