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Islamic banking index rises to best levels in 5 yrs

Islamic banking index rises to best levels in 5 yrs
Saifi discusses findings of 2019 Islamic Banking Index's edition

Dubai - Mubasher: The 2019 edition of the Islamic Banking Index by Emirates Islamic indicated significant progress in the Islamic banking sector across parameters, with Islamic banking penetration skyrocketing to its highest level since launching in 2015.

The top five findings of the index’s edition show the sector’s continuation to further attract a larger number of both Muslim and non-Muslim customers, a press release on Wednesday said.

“The positive findings of the Index against the backdrop of Expo 2020 Dubai next year – the first time the event is being held in an Islamic country – present a unique opportunity to continue the growth of Islamic finance, said Wasim Saifi, deputy CEO-Consumer Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates Islamic.

Penetration

With regard to penetration, three out of five UAE respondents have at least one Shari’a compliant product, registering a 60% rise in 2019 from 55% in 2018.

The use of conventional banking products picked up by 2% since 2019, dipping overall by 5% since 2015, while the use of Islamic products added 13% over the past five years.

Perception

The number of customers seeing that Islamic banks have a range of positive attributes rose to 38% in 2019 from 38% a year earlier, signalling an overall improving perception of Islamic banks after promoting several key areas including, technology and customer service since 2015.

Knowledge

Knowledge of Islamic banking terminology was not improved since 2015 where it recorded 36% before rising to 39% in 2018 and falling to 37% in 2019. However, awareness of Islamic banking terms was up for some products, such as Takaful.

Intention

The number of customers willing to subscribe to an Islamic banking product in the next six months remained consistent since 2018 at 80% equivalent to four out of five respondents, posting a steep rise at 76% from 59% in intention among non-Muslims over the last five years.

“As the official Islamic banking partner of the event, Emirates Islamic is gearing to showcase the benefits of our sector to the world as we strongly believe that this an opportune time for Islamic banking to be at the forefront of the finance sector,” Saifi added.

It is worthy to mention that the Islamic Banking Index by Emirates Islamic is a benchmark survey that measures the progress, penetration, and perception of the Shari’a-compliant banking sector across the UAE and further reveals the future intentions of the nation’s banking customers.