Product Development in Islamic Banks

By Habib Ahmed | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
SHARI’ AH-
BASED ISLAMIC
FINANCE: THE WAY
FORWARD

This book opened with expressions of concern about the divergence of the practice of Islamic banking from its ideal model. Various chapters in the book attempt to examine the diverse issues related to Islamic financial products and their development processes. Chapter 3 discusses the institutional environment under which Islamic banks operate and Chapters 4 and 5 examine the organisational characteristics affecting product development. Discussions in Chapter 6 identify two scenarios under which Shari'ah principles can be compromised. First, internal and external constraints produce a feasible set that does not have any Shari'ahcompliant alternatives. This will be the case in countries that do not have Islamic banking laws and appropriate supporting regulatory regimes or face technological restrictions to the use of Shari ‘ah-compliant products. In these situations, the options available to Islamic banks may be to use pseudo-Islamic products or have no products at all.

The second situation in which Shari'ah requirements may be diluted is not due to constraints, but because banks choose to do so due to economic reasons. In these cases, the feasible set contains Shari'ah-compliant products. Islamic banks, however, choose to use products that compromise the Shari'ah requirements due to economic factors.

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