Follow us:       

Press Releases

Press Release > 2023

IFSB 20th Anniversary Symposium: Celebrating Two Decades of Advancing Islamic Finance

Date posted: 16 August 2023

16 August 2023, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has successfully organised its much-anticipated "IFSB 20th Anniversary Symposium," held at the prestigious Fairmont Hotel in Riyadh. Hosted by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), this landmark event brought together prominent current and former IFSB members and secretaries-general to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and envision the future of the IFSB.

The symposium, themed "IFSB: Past, Present, and the Future," commemorated two decades of exceptional achievements and contributions to the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI). It has served as an unparalleled platform for insightful discussions, fostering collaboration and innovation among professionals from the financial services industry across Saudi Arabia and the GCC.

H.E. Ayman Al Sayari, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank and Chairman of the IFSB Council 2023, delivered the welcoming remarks, highlighting the significance of the event and the pivotal role of the IFSB in advancing the Islamic finance landscape. Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta, Secretary-General of the IFSB, delivered the opening remarks, setting the stage for the symposium's enlightening discussions on the IFSB's remarkable journey and future aspirations.

This symposium lasted the entire afternoon with three different sessions, covering the IFSB timeline of the past, present and the future. Mr. Jaseem Ahmed, former Secretary-General of IFSB moderated the “Session I: Vision of the Founding Members” where it featured panellists such as H.E. Hamad Al-Sayari, former Governor of SAMA and H.E. Dr. Ishrat Husain, former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. This session brought the audience into the visionary minds of the IFSB's founding members, reflecting on their strategic foresight in creating the IFSB.

Session 1 discussed the industry's concerns that led to the establishment of the IFSB, the initial vision and objectives envisioned by the founding members, the progress made in achieving the critical goals set at its inception, and how the industry and the IFSB's role have evolved over the past 20 years. The outcome of this session has provided a basis for reflecting on the IFSB's progress, aligning it with its original vision and mission.

“Session II: Achievements and Lessons from the Past 20 Years” followed shortly after and it highlighted the significant accomplishments of the IFSB and the lessons drawn from two decades of operational excellence. The session assessed the adequacy and relevance of IFSB standards and publications in ensuring the stability, resilience, and soundness of the IFSI. Additionally, it also focused on the global prominence and recognition of the IFSB's work, its international cooperation with regulatory and standard-setting bodies, performance in terms of sectoral reach and membership composition, responsiveness to innovation, and the establishment and usefulness of IFSB prudential and structural Islamic financial indicators. 

The session offered a comprehensive stock-taking of the IFSB's journey, setting the tone for future reforms in line with the dynamics of the global financial ecosystem. Session 2 boasts panellists such as H.E. Rasheed M. Al Maraj, Governor of Central Bank of Bahrain, H.E. Jameel Ahmed, Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, H.E. Juda Agung, Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia, Mr. Lamido Yuguda, Director General of Securities Commission Nigeria, and moderated by Dr. Shahin Shayan, Global Investment and Risk Management Advisor.

In the forward-looking “Session III: Looking to the Future”, the strategic roles and outlook of the IFSB were discussed, considering its structural and functional transformations in response to an integrated, innovative, and evolving IFSI. Key topics included potential changes to the IFSB's agenda, increasing the focus on policy support, technical assistance, and implementation of existing standards, broadening the coverage to Islamic NBFIs, and strengthening mainstream segments. 

Additionally, the session explored the initiatives to expand membership composition and structure, along with the IFSB's enhanced role in promoting the development, soundness, resilience, and stability of member countries' IFSI. The outcome has certainly charted the objectives, strategic intent, and future outlook for the IFSB. 

This third session featured panellists namely H.E. Dr. Feras Abed Al-Rahim Hamdan Milhem, Governor, Palestine Monetary Authority, H.E. Dr. Zamir Iqbal, Vice President/CFO of Islamic Development Bank, Mr. Arup Chatterjee, Principal Financial Sector Specialist for Sectors Group of the Asian Development Bank, Mr. Marc Farag, Member of the Secretariat of the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision and moderated by Dr. Bello Lawal Danbatta, Secretary-General of IFSB.

IFSB's 20th Anniversary Symposium is a significant milestone, embracing the IFSB's legacy and reaffirming its commitment to reshaping the future of Islamic finance on a global scale.

Back to top

Latest Press Release